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Reality Of Immortality: Oregon State Is Five Games Away From History

The Beavers are ever-nearing the program’s all-time futility mark.

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Reality Of Immortality

It’s never fun to write about the struggles of a team, especially one who has dealt with the rollercoaster emotions of a season like Oregon State has, but when it comes down to it, the Beavers are nearing on the edge of history for all the wrong reasons. It’s undeniable. With just five games left on their regular season slate, Oregon State has just five more chances to turn their season around and avoid being the worst team in the 116-year history of the school’s basketball program. The question is...can they do it?

Games Left On Regular Season Slate

  • THURSDAY, 2/16: v. Colorado (H)
  • SUNDAY, 2/19: v. Utah (H)
  • WEDNESDAY, 2/22: at Stanford (A)
  • FRIDAY, 2/24: at California (A)
  • SATURDAY, 3/4: v. Oregon (H)

When Oregon State welcomes Colorado to town on Thursday night, their best chance at breaking their current thirteen game losing skid will be put before them, as the rest of the road ahead for the Beavers looks pretty daunting. Wayne Tinkle and company will need to put forth a monumental effort to finally have that breakthrough they’ve been waiting for. The problem for the Beavers is that with their backs against the wall, time is quickly running out.

If the showdown with the Buffs doesn't go Oregon State’s way, another home game against Utah will at-least give the Beavers the Corvallis-advantage in a duel against an up-and-down Utes program. Utah claimed the first showdown of the season against the Beavers back on January 28th in Salt Lake City, where they knocked off Oregon State, 86-78, despite a career-high 30-point effort from Stephen Thompson Jr..

After those two games, Oregon State will have to try their luck away from home, where they’ve been an absolutely abysmal road team with no evidence of that luck changing. Stanford, will be fresh off their rivalry match-up against California, which could allow a let-down scenario for a Cardinal group that’s won just four times in conference play. However, California is arguably the Pac-12’s best team not named Arizona, Oregon or UCLA. Trying to sneak a win out of Berkeley will be much more difficult than clipping Stanford in Palo Alto.

Finally, the Beavers regular season concludes back in Corvallis in what will be the 348th edition of the Civil War, as Oregon State hosts Oregon on March 4th. The Ducks lambasted the Beavers in their earlier meeting this season, handing them their worst defeat all-season long. If Oregon State hasn’t still won by this point, it’s hard to imagine their arch enemy slipping up with potential NCAA Tournament seeding on the line for the Ducks.

Unfortunately, there’s a strong chance that the Beavers could realistically lose five straight games to close out the regular season and head into the Pac-12 Tournament with a 4-27 record overall (0-17 in conference), which would comfortably put their win percentage as the worst in school history (.129%).

Worst Seasons In Oregon State Basketball History

  1. 1995-96: 4-23 (.148) | Head Coach: Eddie Payne
  2. 2016-17: 4-22 (.154) | Head Coach: Wayne Tinkle*
  3. 1918-19: 3-13 (.188) | Head Coach: H.W. Hargiss
  4. 2007-08: 6-25 (.194) | Head Coach: Jay John / Kevin Mouton
  5. 1993-94: 6-21 (.222) | Head Coach: Jim Anderson

[*If OSU loses their next five games...their record would be 4-27 overall (.129)]

Some Tidbits About The Beavers’ Struggles

  • Oregon State currently has a team BPI of 284. That mark is the lowest of any power conference team and currently ranks the Beavers a spot behind a 5-16 Dartmouth squad and a spot ahead of a 4-20 Tulane program.
  • Oregon State has beaten only three Division I teams this season, including Kent State (BPI: 141), UT-San Antonio (BPI: 294) and Prairie View A&M (BPI: 309). Their lone non-Division I victory was over NAIA school, Southern Oregon.
  • Oregon State is 0-10 in true road games this season. The worst of these losses came in a 42-point defeat to Oregon in the 347th all-time meeting of the Civil War, earlier this year.
  • Forward Tres Tinkle, who appeared in only six games this season due to injury, has attempted the fourth most free-throws (58) on the team this season. Drew Eubanks (113), Stephen Thompson Jr. (96) and Jaquori McLaughlin (62) are the only players to have attempted more than him.
  • Oregon State hasn’t defeated another Pac-12 team since their March 9th win last season in the Pac-12 Tournament over Arizona State. The Beavers have lost 15 of their last 17 games overall against conference foes, dating back to last year.

The Beavers will return to action on Thursday night, when they welcome a surging Colorado team to Corvallis for a re-match of the Buffs’ late-January victory. The game is slated for a 6:00 PM PT tip-off and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.