Virginia vs Oregon: Betting Guide: Can Cavaliers Top Ducks’ Defense in 2019 NCAA Tournament? If you just look at the remaining seeds, you could argue we have the 15 best teams in the country left and an ugly duckling in Oregon — the sole remaining team seeded lower than 5. Except there’s nothing ugly about how the 12-seed Ducks are playing right now.
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Winners of 10 straight over the past 30 days, Oregon is as hot as any team in the country. That said, Virginia represents a different type of challenge, a major step-up in competition. Can the Ducks keep their run going against a No. 1 seed — and if not, can they at least keep it close enough to cover?
Let’s take a closer look at the matchup.How Virginia’s Offense Matches Up With Oregon’s Defense The Ducks have been on a quite a run and they’ve been doing it with defense first. Headed into the tournament, they had the most efficient defense in the month of March.
Dana Altman’s club runs a morphing matchup zone that forces teams to work deep into the shot clock and ideally take a low-percentage jumper. It’s a very complex defense that requires everyone on the floor to be on the same page.
Well, Virginia will have no problems working hard (and long) for a look late in the shot clock. The Cavaliers run a motion offense with relentless screening to tirelessly work for the best possible shot. Their offense ranks 351st in Average Possession Length, per KenPom.
The Ducks also force opponents to shoot a ton of 3s, as evidenced by their extremely high 45.1% opponent 3-point rate. In fact, only Virginia Tech forces opponents to shoot more from beyond the arc among all tournament teams. Well, that’s not ideal against a flame-throwing UVA squad that shot better than 40% from deep on the season.
Yes, Oregon’s defense has allowed a 3-point rate of only 29.1%, the sixth-best in the nation. But I think the Ducks have been getting lucky in that department: Elite 3-point defense has not historically been a staple of an Altman defense.
Virginia’s experienced and patient offense is a well-oiled machine that neither man nor zone has been able to slow down this season. The Cavaliers should find the success against Oregon’s D that so many teams have failed to do in March.