Oregon keeps hearing the question fans are asking.
"Will the Ducks get into get into the NCAA Tournament?"
"To be honest, I don't know," senior forward Mike Moser said. "I don't follow RPIs, BPIs, LPOs, whatever. I just play. Hopefully, we will be one of those teams that are in instead of those that are out."
Nobody knows if Oregon (20-8, 8-8 Pac-12) will get a return invite to the NCAA party, but its status will be clearer after hosting Arizona State and No. 3 Arizona this week to close out the regular season. Sweep, and Oregon is likely in. Split the games and the Ducks probably need a win or two in the Pac-12 tournament next week to feel safe. If they get swept, they may have to get to the tournament title game to have a chance.
"It's a big homestand," junior guard Joseph Young said. "All the fans come out and support us. Defensively, we have to pick up the intensity and support our seniors the last two games."
Oregon is in a three-way tie for seventh place in the conference, but the Ducks are just one game back of three teams tied for fourth. Arizona State is third at 10-6, and Arizona leads the way at 14-2.
"We go home and play two very good basketball teams this week. We have to play well," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "We have done nothing but get back to even. For us to keep making this climb, we have to play better against Arizona State."
It's an early start to the week with the Sun Devils arriving Tuesday, giving Oregon three games in six days that started with a double-overtime win Thursday over UCLA.
"That's not that tough," Young said. "We are at home and we are athletic, so I am pretty sure we can get more recovery done. We will get our bodies well-rested and get ready for Tuesday."
"It's a big deal," Young said of the road sweep. "We know our fans support us and wanted us to come out with two wins in California. I wish we could have done that more often. We just have to worry about these next two games at home."
Oregon suffered two tough losses in Arizona three weeks ago, losing late leads at Arizona and Arizona State. Oregon has faced three other teams that beat it earlier in the season and won rematches.
"It's going to be a big week," said Moser after getting 32 points and 32 rebounds in the Los Angeles sweep. "Quick turnaround for a Tuesday game, but we will be ready. I'm really excited. It's going to be a huge week and we want both of them."
After playing double overtime Thursday, Altman used his bench more against USC and got 35 points and 12 rebounds in 105 minutes from his reserves. He may need a similar effort against the Sun Devils. Depth will be even more important if Damyean Dotson is not fully healed from a sprained ankle that limited him to 13 minutes against USC.
Backup point guard Dominic Artis played a season-high 27 minutes against USC and had four points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit, who didn't play against UCLA, earned positive reviews from Altman for his defense in 10 minutes against the Trojans.
"I thought Jalil came in and got a couple hands on the ball on big defensive possessions and really helped us," Altman said. "D.A. really gave us some good minutes. He played good defense down the stretch and gave us a chance."
Artis was Oregon's starting point guard last year, but he was suspended the first nine game this season by the NCAA and has struggled since. Johnathan Loyd started his fifth straight game, but Altman kept Artis on the floor for the end of the USC game when the Ducks pulled away.
"It was going good," Altman said. "He was guarding. We stuck with Johnny when he was going good and D.A. had it going, so there was no reason to make a change. Defensively, he was solid and his ballhandling was good and he was getting guys in the right sets and then hit his free throws. He did a nice job."
Oregon's losses at Arizona and Arizona State capped a frustrating five-week stretch when the Ducks lost eight of 10 games, including four by two points. Since then, Oregon has won five straight.
"It's a long season," Young said. "We went down, but the team didn't give up. We overcame adversity. The good thing about this team is we all have each others' back."
Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMims_RG. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.