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Oregon’s season is over, but that program is on the way up

Mar 29, 2013, 11:22 PM EDT

Oregon v Louisville Getty Images

All things considered, Oregon had as good of a season as Dana Altman could have asked for.

They won the Pac-12 tournament. They probably would have won the Pac-12 regular season if it wasn’t for the foot injury that sidelined Dominic Artis. They made a surprising run through the Midwest Region, upsetting both No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 4 St. Louis en route to the Sweet 16.

And while the Ducks couldn’t make it past No. 1 Louisville, losing to the Cardinals 77-69 in the semifinals, they never quit. The Cardinals, the best team in the country, jumped out to a 24-8 lead on the Ducks in the first half, but Oregon never rolled over. They fought and they scrapped and they cut the lead to six in the second half before eventually losing by eight points.

That’s what I took out of this game.

Louisville is just as good as we all thought they were. They did nothing to dissuade me of the fact that they are the current favorite to win the national title.

But Oregon never rolled over after digging themselves a massive hole.

Heading into next season, the Ducks will lose four seniors — EJ Singler, Carlos Emory, Tony Woods and Arsalan Kazemi. But they have a lot of young talent on their current roster and Altman brings in a talented seven-man recruiting class, headlined by big man Jordan Bell and twin guards Tyree and Tyrel Robinson, who also play football.

The future is bright in Oregon.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.