The 2021-22 non-conference schedule for the Oregon Ducks men's basketball program has been released.
The season begins with a pair of games at Matthew Knight Arena against Texas schools — Texas Southern on Nov. 9 and SMU on Nov. 12. Texas Southern has played Oregon tough in Eugene in recent years and even pulled off a victory against the No. 18-ranked Ducks in 2018.
Oregon will make its return to the Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center in Portland, where BYU awaits on Nov. 16. The Cougars had an impressive season in 2020-21, going 20-7 and earning a bid in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015, where they lost to the eventual regional champion UCLA in the first round.
The Ducks will fly to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, their first trip to the event since the 2016-17 season, the season in which they made a trip to the Final Four. In the opener, the Ducks face Chaminade on Nov. 22. The field also includes Butler, Houston, Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin.
After the tournament, the Ducks head home to face Montana on Nov. 29 and UC Riverside on Dec. 1. The Grizzlies face the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena for the second time in three seasons. The Highlanders are coming off of back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the program became a Division 1 program in 2001.
Pac-12 play begins with a home matchup against Arizona State on Dec. 5. The Ducks have a week in between their first two conference games, as they will travel to Palo Alto to take on Stanford on Dec. 12.
Oregon will host the Portland Pilots on Dec. 15, the second consecutive season with a matchup in Eugene between the two teams. The Ducks won 80-41 on Dec. 19, 2020, and are 49-10 all-time against the Pilots.
The biggest matchup of the non-conference schedule, and perhaps the 2021-22 season, is against the reigning national champion Baylor Bears at Matthew Knight Arena on Dec. 18. The two elite programs will meet for the fourth time ever, with the Bears taking the last two meetings (both in Waco) in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons. Oregon won the only matchup in Eugene back in 2015-16 by a score of 74-67.
Rounding out the non-conference schedule is a home affair with Pepperdine on Dec. 21, the first matchup between the two teams in 14 years. The Ducks have won four of five matchups against Pepperdine, who is led by former Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar.
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Oregon is coming off of its second straight Pac-12 regular-season title and its fifth Sweet 16 appearance in the last six years (not including the 2020 season in which the NCAA Tournament was canceled). With a slew of new faces from the transfer portal, (Jacob Young, Quincy Guerrier, De'Vion Harmon), the recruiting trail (Nathan Bittle, Isaac Johnson) and the return of several starters from last season (Will Richardson, N'Faly Dante, Eric Williams Jr.), the Ducks will be in a great position to earn their third straight conference title and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
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