Oregon’s Damyean Dotson (21) dribbles upcourt during Thursday’s 87-83 double-overtime win over UCLA in Los Angeles.
Oregon's Damyean Dotson (21) dribbles upcourt during Thursday's 87-83 double-overtime win over UCLA in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

While many of you were sleeping last night, Oregon and UCLA waged a don't-turn-away thriller in Los Angeles that saw the Ducks win 87-83 in double overtime after they all but threw away the game, and their NCAA Tournament hopes, at the end of regulation.

Oregon led by seven with a little less than a minute left, but UCLA came charging back with a series of big shots by little-known freshman Bryce Alford, the game's leading scorer with 31 points.

The Bruins, who were playing without their top two scorers, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams (both were suspended for violating team rules), tied it 71-all on a catch-and-shoot 3 by David Wear as time expired -- the result of sloppy defense by the Ducks and a perfectly placed cross-court pass by Travis Wear.

With Pauley Pavilion in a tizzy, few would think the Ducks had it in them to finish the deal. But they made just a few more big plays across two lackluster overtime periods to secure their fourth consecutive victory in the wake of a 3-7 skid.

"We found a way to win," Oregon coach Dana Altman told Joey Kaufman, who was on assignment for the Oregonian. "This time of year, you need to do that."

On a night of upsets in college basketball, Altman's once-written-off Ducks (19-8 overall, 7-8 Pac-12) were among the biggest winners in the hunt for March Madness. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm listed Oregon as a bubble team Friday but did have the Ducks earning a No. 10 seed. (He had Colorado, also a bubble team, as a No. 9.)

"That's the first win over a sure tournament team for the Ducks, so they filled a big hole in their profile," Palm wrote. "Of course, it took the Bruins' top two guys being suspended and double OT, but it looks like a line drive in the box score."

Aaron Fentress of Comcast Sportsnet agreed the Ducks are a bubble team, but one that is "a strong win, or two," of perhaps being a lock. Oregon visits Pac-12 doormat USC on Saturday and will wrap the regular-season at home next week against Arizona and Arizona State.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who hasn't updated his projected bracket since Thursday morning, has the Ducks listed under "next four out."

Between Palm and Lunardi, the consensus Pac-12 teams on solid ground for making the Big Dance include are Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado, Stanford and California.

ESPN's Eamonn Brennan, however, tabbed Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford and California as teams with "work left to do" in his latest edition of bubble watch. He listed Arizona and UCLA as locks, and Colorado as "should be in."

By virtue of UCLA's loss, Arizona clinched at least a share of the conference regular-season title and the No. 1 seed for the Pac-12 Tournament.

Buffs facing pivotal road stretch

The scariest part about Colorado's flameout against Arizona last Thursday wasn't the final score, 88-61, but rather the fact CU has to look impressive in its final three regular-season contests, road games against Utah (Saturday), Stanford (March 5) and California (March 8).

Compare Colorado's road record (4-4) to its opponents' home records -- Utah (17-2), Cal (12-3), Stanford (11-3) -- and that looks like a daunting task.

Given, their résumé (RPI: 26, SOS: 15), the Buffs (20-8, 9-6) could already be set to receive an NCAA Tournament berth. But a strong finish in the face of tough odds would be just what they need heading into postseason play.

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