Before Saturday’s tip off against North Carolina, Oregon, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Webfoots,” has been giving fans rare, behind-the-scenes glimpses of its March Madness tourney journey using the social network’s popular live-streaming service.
There’s this locker room celebration, featuring head coach Dana Altman getting doused with water after the Ducks stunned the Kansas Jayhawks 74-60 last Saturday, beating Kansas practically in its own backyard:
“No one gave us a chance because you’re playing in front of 18,000, you’re in Kansas City. They didn’t think we’re tough enough. But you guys showed them great competitiveness,” Altman told the team. “I’m so happy for you and I’m so proud of you. That’s an unbelievable performance!”
Few thought the Ducks could make the Final Four, their first appearance in 78 years. Even though they only had five losses during the regular season, they were generally considered the Pac 12 conference’s third-best team behind UCLA and Arizona.But now Oregon is among the top four college basketball teams in the country and on the verge of possibly winning its first national title.
And the team hasn’t let the bright lights of cameras or their nearly 2 billion Facebook followers distract them. Most of the team’s Facebook Live spots have been caught on smartphones, making viewers seem as if they are peeking in.
“Hopefully our fans feel like they’re part of the team with our behind the scenes looks,” said Craig Pintens, Oregon’s senior associate athletic director who oversees public relations for the program. “We’re so thankful for their support and we see this as another way to give back to them.”
Here’s a look at Altman’s postgame talk to the Ducks after they beat Michigan 69-68 in an absolute nail-biter on March 24 to advance to the Elite Eight:
“Fellas, there’s no reason to quit now. We haven’t quite got where we want to get,” Altman said. “All we did was take one more step. We got a step on Saturday and then we got two steps next week. Let’s go.”
“Fellas, I told you before the game, I don’t want to put the uniforms away,” Altman said. “Does anybody want to put them away? I don’t either. But we’re going to have to be tougher and meaner.”
It appears that strategy has worked. But will it be enough for the Ducks to win against North Carolina, which many favor to win the national championship?
Pintens, of course, believes Oregon can pull off the upset and will be able to again share the postgame magic with fans on Facebook.
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