Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Ducks defying seeding

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Pac-12 tournament champions. No. 12 seed. Underdogs.

Oregon is happy to carry any label it's given in the NCAA Tournament — all the way into the Sweet 16.

Damyean Dotson scored 23, Carlos Emory added 14 and the hot-shooting Ducks sprinted past fourth-seeded St. Louis 74-57 on Saturday night.

"We just decided as a team we're going to go out there and we don't care who we're going to play," said Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi, who had eight points and 16 rebounds.

Dotson made his first five 3-pointers to propel Oregon (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when it lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the region final. The Ducks made 8 of 11 3-pointers, while the Billikens finished 3-of-21.

After the NCAA selection committee turned some heads for seeding Oregon so low, the Ducks dismissed two favorites by a combined 30 points in San Jose. Oregon will play No. 1 overall seed Louisville in the Midwest Region in Indianapolis next.

"I'm excited but, man, it's just great to get to see those guys in the locker room all fired up," Ducks coach Dana Altman said. "And for our fans that have waited for this, and for our state, it's good."

Not so much for St. Louis.

Kwamain Mitchell scored 18 and Dwayne Evans had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Billikens (28-7), who set a school record for wins after the death of coach Rick Majerus in December.

"It's been a good ride this year," said Evans, fighting back tears. "Probably one of the funnest years of basketball I've ever played. And it's had the most adversity, so it's ironic."

LOUISVILLE 82, COLO. ST. 56: Russ Smith scored 27 on 7-of-15 shooting, three other Cardinals hit double figures and top-seeded Louisville (31-5) put on a defensive clinic in Lexington, Ky.

Louisville forced the eighth-seeded Rams (26-9) into a season-high 20 turnovers and outrebounded Colorado State 29-24, no small feat considering the Rams came in with a nation-best plus-12 margin.

Yet the Cardinals weren't fully satisfied.

"We can play much better," coach Rick Pitino said. "This is the best we have played so far at both ends of the floor. … But we can definitely get better and improve."

MICHIGAN ST. 70, MEMPHIS 48: Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 in the first half for the third-seeded Spartans (27-8), who pulled away from the sixth-seeded Tigers (31-5) in Auburn Hills, Mich. on Saturday. The Tom Izzo-led program is in the region semifinals for the fifth time in six years and the 11th time in his career.

"We can enjoy it on the bus ride home," Michigan State's Adreian Payne said before a 90-mile ride back to campus. "Once we get back to East Lansing, it's going to be time to work."

Michigan State and the winner of today's Kansas-North Carolina game will be the only schools to make it to the Sweet 16 five times in the past six years, according to STATS. The Spartans and Duke are the only teams to make it to the region semifinals in at least 10 of the past 15 seasons.

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