Disappointment In The Wake of NCAA Tournament Cancellation

Mar 15, 2020

Sabrina Ionescu (20) and Ruthy Hebard (24) play in their final game for the Oregon Ducks on March 8, 2020 at the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game in Las Vegas, Nev.
Credit Oregon Athletics

The University of Oregon women’s basketball team is lamenting the sudden end to the post-season.

The Ducks won the Pac-12 tournament just over a week ago and were a No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA tournament. They expected to host the first two rounds in a March Madness run - then everything came to a sudden standstill. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the NCAA canceled both the men’s and women’s Division I tournaments, ending all competition for the rest of the year.

Ducks coach Kelly Graves says his players were on a continued upward trajectory. “This is a resilient group," he says. "You know, it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see them in this tournament because I think it would have been a really special run.”

Graves says after such a successful year, the team is feeling a big let-down. Of the players, he said “they’re all kind of processing it in their own way, they’re obviously disappointed.”

Graves also acknowledged that the sudden end is especially disappointing for his seniors, Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, Satou Sabally, and Minyon Moore, and the fans who came out to support them. Graves says "there won't be another group like this ever. We might have equally impressive teams, but what this group did to capture the imagination and attention, the love of a brand new fan base, is really, really incredible."

The No. 13 Oregon men's team was in Las Vegas, preparing to take on Oregon State in Round 2 of the Pac-12 Tournament when they got the news that their season was suddenly over as well when that tournament was canceled. They were coming off their regular season Pac-12 championship.

Beyond basketball, the Pac-12 made the decision to cancel all spring sports competitions and Pac-12 championships through the end of the academic year.

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