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Ducks boast few b-ball wins

I know your experts at Since You Asked don't often stray from reality into the world of sports but I just have to ask: has the Ducks' men's basketball team ever had a more stinko record? I am not asking this as a sports fan but as an Oregonian hanging his head and crying in his beer.

— Jim L., Grants Pass

We two Duck alums at SYA headquarters suspect you are a Beaver fan intent on rubbing our noses in it, Jim. But we are big enough — sniff — to check it out, painful as it is.

Besides, it is only fair that we note the Beaver men won no conference games last season. That's right — zilch. Nada. Nary a game in the Pac 10. Take that.

But back to the fowl question.

As we write this Thursday, we must acknowledge that the University of Oregon men's team has lost 13 consecutive games, tying their worst losing streak in 52 years. They have yet — sob — to win a conference game.

If they lose Thursday night, their 14-game losing streak would be second only to their string of 22 consecutive losses in 1921-22.

To demonstrate how bad they were back in the day, we submit that the University of Washington Huskies stomped the Ducks 76-15 on Jan. 13, 1922.

We don't like to go there. It hurts.

To assuage the pain, we like to point out that the Ducks were the national champs in the first NCAA tournament in 1939. They were known as the Tall Firs back then.

Of course, the NCAA wasn't as prestigious as it is now. But we cling to what we can these days, including the fact the Ducks were in the elite eight in 2002 and 2007.

Still, we are not optimistic things will improve this season.

Thursday night's opponents, the University of California Golden Bears, have won their past three games and whipped the Ducks in Berkeley last month. Oregon may have the home court advantage but the "Pit" seems to have lost its magical power.

You have ruffled our feathers, Jim.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.