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Basketball - Men's College

Men’s college basketball in Oregon enjoys big season

    Instead of the smell of bread permeating the area, University of Oregon students living in the dorms wake each morning to the unmistakable sounds of construction.

    The Williams Bakery, which resided near the northeast corner of the UO campus from 1908 until 2006, has relocated and been replaced by a $200 million basketball arena project that broke ground Feb. 7.

    Matthew Knight Arena is scheduled to open by January 2011, signaling the end of 82-year old McArthur Court as the home of Ducks basketball. Until then, the area near the corner of Franklin Boulevard and Villard Street is expected to remain plenty busy with construction traffic as the project continues at a brisk pace to meet its deadline.

    “That building is going to allow us to do some things that we could never consider before,” Oregon Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny said. “The potential for growth is huge.”

    Kilkenny could have been speaking about men’s college basketball in general in the state, which experienced one of its most newsworthy seasons ever.
    NCAA returns

    Along with the long-awaited UO arena project starting, the men’s NCAA Tournament returned to Oregon for the first time since 1983 and sold out the Rose Garden during all three sessions of the event over two days in March. Drew Mahalic, chief executive officer of the Oregon Sports Authority, said the NCAA Tournament injected “a ballpark figure” of $10million into the local economy.

    “It was a very healthy thing for our economy in a time when we really need it,” Mahalic said. “It was everything we hoped for, and more. It was probably the event of the year (in Oregon), if not larger than that.”

    — Excerpt from, April 24, 2009


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