Oregon,coming off a Pac-12 championship as one of the hottest teams in thecountry, was one of the trendy upset picks leading up to Thursday’smatchup against 5th seeded Oklahoma State. The 12th seeded Ducks cameout strong, getting a couple of quick turnovers and striking first.
Oregon would never really look bad and held on to win 68-55.
Whilethe game remained close for the early part of the first half, Oregonwould being pulling away, and, with a little more than 8 minutes left,the score was 19-12. The Ducks would extend that lead to 37-26 byhalftime with a clutch rebound and put back by Senior forward ArsalanKazemi who finished the game with 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Kazemi was a major reason for the Ducks’ success as his steady leadership and hustle set the tone for the Ducks.
Theleading scorer for the Ducks was Damyean Dotson who led the way with 17points. E.J. Singler, the season’s leader with 11.6 ppg, added 8 pointsand the Ducks distribute the ball well.
MarcusSmart, the freshman sensation for the Cowboys put up solid numbers andhad 14 points, but he had little impact on the game.
Whilemany saw this upset coming, the win for Oregon provides the firstsignificant upheaval in the tournament. Wichita State’s victory overPittsburgh is thus far the only win for the lower seed.
TheDucks should provide quite a challenge for the Saint Louis Billikinswhom they will face on Saturday. Having watched both games today, Oregonlooked to be the better basketball team and is certainly better thantheir 12 seed would indicate.