No. 12 versus No. 5 matchups have a reputation for producing upsets, and No. 12 Oregon kept the trend alive with a comfortable 68-55 victory over No. 5 Oklahoma State in the Midwest region.
The Ducks are not your average No. 12 seed after winning the Pac-12 Tournament, and the team came out on a mission to prove the selection committee wrong. Dana Altman's team continued to play lockdown defense against the Cowboys, and this helped them pull out an upset victory.
A balanced scoring effort allowed the Ducks to consistently build their lead throughout the contest. Oregon had four players in double figures and were led by freshman guard Damyean Dotson, who finished with 17 points.
Forward Arsalan Kazemi was a beast on the boards in this game and grabbed 17 rebounds to go along with his 11 points. Overall, the Ducks were far better on the glass and won the rebounding battle 44-30.
Kazemi didn't only contribute on the glass, though. Watch him fill the lane and finish with a powerful jam here.
On defense, the Ducks clamped down Oklahoma State's star freshman, Marcus Smart. The talented point guard was 5-of-13 from the field and recorded just 14 points.
After an extremely unfortunate draw, the Cowboys' 2013 NCAA tournament run lasted just 40 minutes.
The Ducks have certainly earned their spot in the next round, and they will now start preparing for a tough matchup against No. 4 Saint Louis.
The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell echoed the thoughts of many basketball fans when he shared his feelings on Oregon's seed in the tournament:
Oregon as a 12 seed defines joke— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) March 21, 2013
But Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune pointed out that massively under-seeding the Ducks was just as unfair to Oklahoma State as it was to Oregon:
Oregon is proving that the 12 seed the NCAA gave them was a flat out joke...in fact, this matchup with OK State is unfair to both teams— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) March 21, 2013
The Oregonian's John Canzano noted that the chip on the Ducks' shoulder was not the only motivation they had to play hard in this game:
Oregon tips off vs. Oklahoma State in San Jose… marks 1,826 days between NCAA Tournament games for the Ducks.— John Canzano (@JohnCanzanoBFT) March 21, 2013
And play hard they did. Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman points out that Oregon completely dominated most aspects of this game:
Same story, different half in the opening minutes for #okstate. Too many turnovers. Too many Oregon offensive boards. Can't get any mo.— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) March 21, 2013
The San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur noticed that the Ducks had an unexpected fan who may be switching allegiances from his alma mater. Pac-12 Digital's Bryan Fischer shared a picture of Bill Walton's flashy outfit:
Bill Walton's jacket today: twitter.com/BryanDFischer/…— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) March 21, 2013
Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner also decided to take a shot at the selection committee for how they seeded Oregon:
Oklahoma State struggling in the first-ever 5 vs. 8 game in the Round of 64— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) March 21, 2013
After the rout was on, Bleacher Report's Dan Levy noted that a closer-than-expected game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 16 Southern that was going on at the same time as this contest provided a silver lining for the Cowboys:
The good thing for Oklahoma State is that most people aren't watching them get their doors blown off by a 12 seed. #Zags— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) March 21, 2013
The upsets have started. Be sure to use these links to follow all the action the rest of the way.
Link to Printable PDF
Link to Live Bracket
Follow all the exciting NCAA tournament action with March Madness Live