The 12th-seeded Oregon Ducks outplayed the No. 4 St. Louis Billikens in every aspect of the game on Saturday night, rolling to a 74-57 win and a spot in the Sweet 16.
Dana Altman's squad now gets the unenviable task of taking on top-seeded Louisville, which destroyed Colorado State by 26 earlier in the day.
After both teams went back and forth during the opening 10 minutes, Oregon caught fire and quickly jumped out to a commanding 28-17 lead.
St. Louis tried to fight back, but as the first-half clock wound down, Johnathan Loyd hit a crushing three-pointer to send the Ducks to the locker room with a 35-19 lead.
The second half was more of the same.
Jim Crews' squad made several mini runs to cut the lead to single digits, but every time that happened, Oregon had an answer.
And usually, it was from the outside.
The Ducks shot an amazing 52.8 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from the three-point line against one of the most physical, dominant defenses in the country.
Damyean Dotson, who entered the game shooting just 31.1 percent from beyond the arc, knocked down eight of his 12 shots and 5-of-6 from deep to pace Oregon with 23 points.
E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory chipped in with 14 each, while Arsalan Kazemi had his typical monster day. The Rice transfer added 16 rebounds (seven offensive), three assists, two steals and two blocks to his eight points.
For St. Louis, it was the exact opposite kind of day.
Kwamain Mitchell (18 points, five steals) and Dwayne Evans (16 points, nine rebounds) had solid days, but the Billikens shot just 3-of-21 from beyond the arc and were completely baffled by Oregon, failing to take advantage of the Ducks' 18 turnovers.
CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein described Oregon's staggering performance:
For as good as Saint Louis has looked this season, Oregon has taken them out of everything they do well. Ducks are flawless right now.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 24, 2013
"Flawless" pretty much sums it up.
Ken Pomeroy added to the high praise:
Say what you want about Oregon's seed, but their last two games have been their two best games of the season.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) March 24, 2013
Of course, as the Tacoma News Tribune's Todd Dybas pointed out, it didn't help that the normally solid Billikens were terrible:
Oregon is playing well, but this is a stunning display of dumb basketball by a usually knife-sharp team.— Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) March 24, 2013
But hey, at least St. Louis did this (via Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner):
Congratulations to Saint Louis, the first team to lose by less than 20 today!— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) March 24, 2013
Finally, ESPN Stats & Info gives us some history surrounding Oregon's impressive win:
Oregon beats Saint Louis. Ducks are 3-0 in Round of 32 since tourney expanded to 64 teams in 1985.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2013