Inaugural games have featured Oregon

Although basketball is referenced on the one hand and football on the other, there will occur a most remarkable event should the University of Oregon Ducks defeat the Ohio State University Buckeyes in the AT&T Stadium at Arlington, Texas on Jan. 12.  There is simply a matter of 76 years that separate these happenings. The inaugural NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament took place among eight teams in 1939.  The final game of the tournament had the University of Oregon Webfoots  (Yes, their nickname was Webfoots back then) defeating the Ohio State University Buckeyes.  It wasn’t a rout but it was a decisive victory. Years ago, it was commonplace for state college teams to count among their players, mainly young men from that state (women’s basketball teams did not exist before Title IX).  The UO team of the late 1930s had five players from Astoria, three others from Oregon City, The Dalles, Oakridge and Ashland, and three from the state of Washington, including one each from Olympia, Raymond and Longview.  As an aside, the UO’s 2014-15 basketball team numbers 15, only two from Oregon with not one from Astoria. Along the way to the championship for Oregon, the Webfoots had to achieve the best record for what was known then as the Pacific Coast Conference, including a best-of-three conference-ending series against the UCLA Bruins held in MacArthur Court on the UO campus in Eugene.  Oregon won the first two games and then it was...

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