The University of Southern California Trojans took care of the Anteaters on Saturday, but the Anteaters will get another shot at a traditionally powerhouse program and play the Oregon Ducks on Friday at the Bren Events Center.
If you want to know why I predict a UCI upset victory over the Ducks read my UCI vs. USC game coverage on page 37.
Even though the Ducks are not as good as years past, they still are from a conference, the Pac-10, that consistently receives top recruits. Combine that aspect with one of the most hostile home-court crowds at McArthur Court and a flashy endorsement deal with Nike, and Oregon becomes an attractive spot for the best in the nation.
The Ducks are led by veteran point guard Tajuan Porter, who is very deceptive with his small 5-foot-6-inches and 150-pound frame. He is a good jumper and penetrates well to the basket. Sophomore LeKendric Longmire is another weapon on offense at forward. Freshman center Micheal Dungin, along with Longmire, were the only two players who scored in double figures in the Duck’s 66-64 victory over Northern Colorado in their regular season opener. Northern Colorado is where UCI guard Darren Moore played his freshman year.
Judging by how close the Oregon-Northern Colorado game’s final score was, the Anteaters definitely have the opportunity to defeat a Pac-10 opponent for the first time since the Anteaters upset in Palo Alto with the then 13th-ranked Stanford University 79-63 in 2005.
A win of this caliber can benefit our program in so many ways, including national recognition, recruiting attention, alumni outreach and campus morale.
While the result of the game is in the players’ hands, it is also in ours.
A reason why teams like Oregon and Duke can be so successful year in and year out is because their crowds create an environment that fosters top performances and gives them a chance to win at least half of their games. We need to create that environment at the Bren Events Center this Friday.
To hype up the match, ASUCI, Crazy Insane Anteaters (CIA) and UCI Athletics are teaming up once again to throw a “Duck Roast.” While I doubt that there will be actual duck roasting, you can bring your own duck and barbecue if you would like.
The event is officially considered a tail gate party. We don’t have a football team, so we are going to do it for basketball.
The tailgate will be located on the grass fields near the Bren Events Center and will begin at 4:30 p.m. There will be free kettle corn and cotton candy, and there are even rumors of moon bounces of some sort. ASUCI will be selling tickets for food, but all are welcome to bring their own. A disc jockey will bump some music, and I will even be there to talk trash if you were wondering.
CIA will present and distribute their new t-shirts at this game. For those who don’t know, though almost everyone does, those are some legit shirts. They always have unique graphics and they are “cool” to have on campus. The best part about it is that they are completely free. Don’t forget your UCI identification card.
To up the spirit, there will also be artists who will draw temporary UCI tattoos on your body. We need to get wild and wacky.
The crowd needs to be loud, rude and obnoxious. The Ducks should not ever want to come back.
ASUCI has not disappointed thus far, and I am sure they will come through with the “Duck Roast.”
They can provide the goods, but you can provide the atmosphere. Do whatever you need to do to get amped.
You did well on Saturday’s 4-2 romp on UCSB at the Big West Tournament final. (Note: The UCI men’s soccer team first round match-up will be announced on Monday at 3 p.m., and there is a great possibility we will be hosting a match at Anteater Stadium this weekend.)
Force your friends to come; they won’t regret it. You haven’t experienced college until you have attended a major sporting event and cheered for your team with your classmates. It doesn’t matter if you are not familiar with sports. It is an experience you should not miss. I will stop ranting now. I will see you guys Friday.