Key non-conference matches for 2022-23 season

Key non-conference matches for 2022-23 season

The full schedule for Oregon Basketball is finally out, including some key non-conference games. Who are the ones to watch?

It was a rough season overall for Oregon Basketball, finishing with a 20-15 record and missing out on the NCAA Tournament. Part of it had to do with the 7-4 performance in the non-conference, which included three losses in four games, two of them being blowout defeats to BYU and Houston. They also lost to Saint Mary’s and Baylor and the only decent win they had was against SMU.

The Ducks are hoping for a better performance in the non-Pac 12 matchups this upcoming season and the 12-game slate is set. And the fact that all 12 games are in the state of Oregon sets things up very nicely for them.

Here are the key games to watch for Oregon.

Houston Cougars – Nov 20th

The Ducks suffered a 29-point defeat to Houston, who at the time had both Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark healthy. They’re back and the team will be in the preseason top-5, with a defense as good as any in the country. With the game at home, it could get interesting and would become the ultimate resume-builder if they could pull off the win.

UConn Huskies – Nov 24th (PK Invitational)

Oregon drew the Huskies in the opening round of the PK85 Invitational in what should be an even matchup. Both teams have really good centers in Adama Sanogo (UConn) and Ke’lel Ware (Oregon), along with a completely revamped set of backcourts. Will Richardson is the lone key returning guard on either side and will have to be the best player for them to win.

Alabama or Michigan State – Nov 25th (PK Invitational)

Whether they win or lose against UConn, the Ducks will have a tough second game in the big non-conference tournament. Alabama is an elite offensive team, led by five-star freshmen, Jaden Bradley and Brandon Miller. Charles Bediako will be a handful at center, while Ohio transfer Mark Sears will have an impact in the backcourt. Michigan State doesn’t have an individual star but can go 8-deep with balanced depth and is a very good defensive team. Both have their pros and cons for Oregon to face but the Spartans are less explosive overall, so the Ducks can’t get run off the floor.

Portland Pilots – Dec 17th

Oregon won this matchup last year by 25 points but the Pilots return most of their roster from last season after a surprising season overall. If Chris Austin and Tyler Robertson are healthy and Mike Meadows has a breakout campaign, this could end up closer than expected.

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