Oregon breaks into top 10, highest ranking since '07

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The Oregon Ducks broke into the top 10 in the AP poll on Monday for their highest ranking since 2007.

Oregon jumped four spots in the rankings to No. 9 after defeating Washington State 76-62 last Wednesday and rival Washington 86-73 on Sunday night. The Ducks haven't been ranked this high before in head coach Dana Altman's tenure.

With the victories, Oregon finished a perfect 18-0 at home this season.

''Amazing,'' said senior guard Dwayne Benjamin of his final game at Matthew Knight Arena. ''Just like the first one when I first played, I was so excited and the fans were great. This was a perfect way to go out for me.''

It was the fifth time the Ducks have gone undefeated at home, and the first time since the 2001-02 season. Oregon extended its home winning streak, dating back to last season, to a school-record 25 games.

The Ducks (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12) will wrap up the regular season this week with in Los Angeles with a Wednesday night game against UCLA before the finale Saturday at USC.

With a victory in one of the final two games, Oregon will clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. It's been 14 years since the last one.

''Yeah, it's a possibility,'' senior forward Elgin Cook said. ''We just want to go in and worry about UCLA. They're a good offensive rebounding team, Bryce Alford is shooting the ball and it's going to be a fight. They play well at home as well, so it's going to be a fight.''

Cook matched his career high with 26 points against the Huskies.

Oregon sits atop the Pac-12 standings, with Utah (23-7, 12-5) a half-game back, followed by California (21-8, 11-5), which has won six straight. Arizona (22-7, 12-6) is two games behind the Ducks.

The Utes shook up the top half of the conference by beating the Wildcats 70-64 on Saturday. As a result, Utah rose nine spots in the AP rankings to No. 13, while Arizona dropped from No. 9 to No. 18. Cal popped into the poll at No. 25, putting four conference teams in the rankings for the first time this season.

Oregon was picked in the Pac-12 preseason poll to finish fourth in the conference. The finish at the end of the season will determine seeding for the Pac-12 tournament, set to kick off on March 9 in Las Vegas.

The last time the Ducks broke into the top 10 was the 2006-7 season, when they were ranked as high as No. 7 and went on to win the Pac-12 Tournament and advance to the round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament. That team, anchored by senior guard Aaron Brooks, was coached by Ernie Kent.