Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 8 St. Joseph's (West Region)
On a day full of crazy outcomes, Oregon was one of the few teams to have a nice, easy victory Friday. The Ducks cruised to a 91-52 win over Holy Cross, giving many of their star players some much-needed rest with no one playing more than 26 minutes.
Things are about to get a whole lot harder in the round of 32.
St. Joseph's barely escaped the first round with a thrilling 78-76 win over Cincinnati. Bearcats senior forward Octavius Ellis had what appeared to be a game-tying dunk, but he held on to it a fraction of a second too long, allowing the Hawks to advance by the skin of their teeth.
Though St. Joseph's didn't begin its tournament run with a blowout victory like Oregon, the Ducks still can't take their round-of-32 opponent lightly.
Junior forward DeAndre Bembry played every minute against Cincinnati and filled up the box score with 23 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Senior forward Isaiah Miles, meanwhile, had 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocks and knocked down 3-of-5 shots from three-point range. That duo can cause problems for Oregon defensively, especially if either attacks the basket and gets to the free-throw line.
The Hawks also don't beat themselves, posting the fourth-lowest turnover rate in college basketball, according to KenPom.com. This will not only give them more chances on the offensive end, it will also help limit the Ducks' scoring in transition.
Oregon is wholly worthy of its No. 1 seed, contrary to popular belief, but the Pac-12 winners still have to be cautious about a potential upset Sunday.