Twelfth-seeded OR has defeated fifth-seeded Wisconsin 72-54 in their NCAA men's basketball South Region tournament game today in San Jose, California. OR reached the big dance for the sixth time in seven years after becoming the first team in Pac-12 Tournament history to defeat the top three seeds on the way to winning the title.
"To see them come like this and have so much fun, that's why we coach, just to see guys get together and have fun and play their tails off", coach Dana Altman said. "They don't deserve to go out in the first round". "We're just ready to make something happen". The Badgers were unable to produce any offensive rhythm throughout most of the game, particularly in the second half.
Two games later, things got even worse.
"I think this shows that last week wasn't a fluke", OR point guard Payton Pritchard said. But he ended his career on a down note.
However, Wisconsin missed a lot of open looks, which would come back to haunt them in the second half.
Pritchard scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes. But in the end, it was the Ducks who prevailed 72-54. Later this week, Oregon, a No. 12 seed, will try to run its winning streak to nine against the No. 5-seed Wisconsin Badgers.
The Ducks have covered the spread in seven straight following a win and five straight on a neutral site. "And at this time of year, you can't do that". OR led 46-37 with 12:39 to go. "You're either playing a team that is hot coming in, like OR, OR you're going to play a team that had a really good regular season". Wisconsin closed the season 23-11 and left plenty of questions open about what the future holds in a post-Ethan Happ world.More news: Trump says public should see 'ridiculous' Mueller report
More news: Bayer Shares Plummet Upon Verdict That Roundup Caused Man's Cancer
More news: O'Leary says no immediate action planned on 737 orders
Happ was clearly emotional after the game, and talked about a message that he shared with his teammates after the loss. That would have been the first time in the past 25 years that we saw a power conference send just one team to the dance. "Through all the ups and downs, they have always had my back". Since the Ducks aren't a great shooting team, they had to apply the pressure to gain more possessions to rely on volume shooting to score points. OR is 6-2 in NCAA Tournament games under coach Kelly Graves.
"It's tough to believe this is really it". "I wanted to be aggressive today, because it could be our last game". I started thinking about coming here my first Summer, when my dad dropped me off.
Realistic Tournament hopes faded fast for Oregon.
How they make a run: Pritchard controls the pace of play, King and White are knock-down from deep and some spark off the bench helps OR steal a tournament win, OR maybe even a few. Wisconsin is 2-0 facing the Ducks whom they met in the second round of the tournament in 2014 and 2015.
The Badgers also don't turn it over, which will help against the OR pressure.
With the season over and the senior trio departing, the slate will be wiped clean yet again.