In the first ever game at the new Oregon basketball court, the USC Trojans fell to the Oregon Ducks, 68-62 at Matthew Knight Arena. The brand new, $227 million arena, named for the late son of Nike head man Phil Knight, was opened with great fanfare, and the Ducks took advantage, winning their first conference game of the season. The loss dropped USC to 2-2 in Pac-10 play.
The design of the court is, in a word, busy. A series of painted trees around all four sides of the court are part of the design of the floor, which has a giant O -- the Oregon logo -- in the middle of the court. Having a garish court is nothing new for the Ducks, who routinely push the envelope in their various combination of uniforms in both football and basketball.
However, the worst thing about the court is that the halfcourt line is almost completely indistinguishable. There is a very light line signifying midcourt, but is very difficult to spot given the busy design of the floor. On the very first play of the game, Oregon won the tip, into the frontcourt, then passed into the backcourt but no violation was called, mostly because there is no clear line.
As far as the game itself, it was a close affair, with Oregon holding their six-point halftime lead as the two schools played evenly in the second half. Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 13 rebounds in defeat for the Trojans. USC heads to Corvallis, where they will battle Oregon State on Saturday night.
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