Naismith Player of the Year finalist Payton Pritchard had an incredible career at Oregon. The senior guard racked up 1,900 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds with the Ducks.
Although his senior year postseason never came to fruition, Pritchard did take advantage of the regular season. He averaged 20.5 points and 5.6 assists per game leading the Ducks in both. He also helped propel Oregon to a No. 13 ranking in the season's final AP Poll, a 24-7 (13-5) record and a Pac-12 regular-season championship.
Pritchard joined Andy Katz on this week's episode of March Madness 365 to reflect on this unique year and break down five of his favorite games from the season. His interview begins at about the 5-minute 15-second mark of the podcast. Utah State's Sam Merrill also guests on the podcast.
Here are Payton Pritchard's five favorite games from his senior season:
Oregon vs. Seton Hall — Nov. 27, 2019
It was a battle between two Naismith Player of the Year finalists in Pritchard versus Seton Hall's Myles Powell. Oregon, down by 19 points in the second half, rallied behind Pritchard's 16 points and six assists, and Shakur Juiston's late-game putback to get the win.
"Myles Powell was going crazy from the 3-point line," Pritchard said. "Everybody thought we were dead in the water too."
Although Powell did ring up 32 points making seven 3-pointers, it wasn't enough to hold off the Ducks in the Battle4Atlantis quarterfinals.
Oregon at Michigan — Dec. 14, 2019
Oregon jumped out to a 16-point lead during this cross-conference matchup, but the Wolverines did not go away. Michigan bounced back and forced overtime, but Pritchard's 23 points helped push Oregon across the finish line to a 71-70 victory.
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"How the game ended, and us getting stops — that was unbelievable especially getting a road win like that. You can't ask for anything better," Pritchard told Andy Katz.
Oregon vs. Arizona — Jan. 9, 2020
Pritchard helped seal this top-25 win at home for the Ducks early on in Pac-12 play with 18 points, seven boards and six assists. The Oregon star sealed the game with an interception off of Arizona's last attempt at an overtime victory.
Pritchard told Katz that the game came down to getting defensive stops at the end of regulation. Trailing for most of the game, Pritchard and company got a boost off the bench with Will Richardson scoring 25 points.
Oregon at Washington — Jan. 18, 2020
Another favorite game from Pritchard's senior season brings another overtime win for the Ducks. Pritchard was playing on another level in Seattle as he scored 22 points and knocked down the stepback game-winner to knock off Washington.
"I understand the rivalry," Pritchard said about growing up playing AAU teams from Washington. "For us to win and hitting a game-winner like that — that was special."
Oregon at Arizona — Feb. 22, 2020
You don't have to look at a stat sheet too long to figure out what Pritchard's favorite game of his career was. The Oregon guard dropped a career-high 38 points on the road to help lead the Ducks past Arizona in overtime Feb. 22.
"I would say that one was No. 1 for sure," Pritchard said. "I don't even know how we won that game."
Oregon's Shakur Juister made a layup with 1.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Ducks a 73-72 lead. But Arizona's Christian Koloko was fouled by Pritchard after receiving a full-court pass on the following inbounds play, Fortunately for Oregon and their star point guard, Koloko missed both free throws to seal the game for the Ducks.