Oregon's Joseph Young checked his phone at 8 a.m. Saturday and saw that someone had left him a text message. It wasn't the congratulatory kind he might have expected after his virtuoso performance the night before against Oklahoma State.
No, this one was from a buddy who plays basketball for Wisconsin, a guy named Sam Dekker.
"You ready????" the text said.
Silly question. Young has been ready for, oh, about 365 days, since the Ducks squandered a double-digit, second-half lead and lost, 85-77, to Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament's round of 32 in Milwaukee.
Sunday is the rematch at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. Same round. Same stakes. This time the winner goes to the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles.
Oregon faces a tall task going against the front line of 7-footer Frank Kaminsky, the 6-9 Dekker, and 6-8 Nigel Hayes. Freshman Jordan Bell, at 6-9, is the only Oregon starter bigger than 6-6, and he expects to spend much of his time trying to guard Kaminsky.
Kaminsky can score inside and outside, but so can Dekker and Hayes. Bell and the Ducks saw their share of top big men in the Pac-12, but they haven't gone against a group as imposing as Wisconsin's.