Ducks corral Cowboys, 68-55 | NCAA Midwest Regional
With NBA prospect Marcus Smart struggling, the fifth-seeded Cowboys had little chance against the hot Ducks.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Marcus Smart had his pocket picked twice by Dominic Artis, missed four free throws and played like a jittery freshman instead of a heralded NBA prospect.
With their best player struggling, the fifth-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys had little chance against streaking Oregon.
Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and fellow freshman Artis had 13 points and four steals to help the 12th-seeded Ducks to a 68-55 win in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.
"I definitely wish I could have done more for my team," Smart said.
Smart had 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting, a disappointing finish to a stellar season for the Cowboys (24-9). The 6-foot-4, 225-pound point guard turned the ball over five times and was unable to exploit his size advantage against the 6-1 Artis and 5-8 Johnathan Loyd.
"Our quickness was important," Ducks coach Dana Altman said. "We had to get (Smart) away from the basket and try to use that quickness. And I thought D.A. and Johnny did a good job of that."
Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to give Oregon (27-8) its first NCAA tournament win in six years. The Ducks made eight three-pointers, their most since making nine in December against Houston Baptist.
"We ran into a very hot team," Cowboys coach Travis Ford said.
The Ducks even had a decided crowd advantage, and former UCLA star Bill Walton was decked out in a tie-dyed Oregon outfit.
The Pac-12 tournament champion plays fourth-seeded Saint Louis Saturday for a spot in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis next week.
The selection committee raised some eyebrows when the Ducks got a 12 seed despite tying for second place in the Pac-12 in the regular season, winning the conference tournament and going 21-4 with Artis in the lineup.
"I never felt like we needed to make a statement," senior forward E.J. Singler said. "We knew we had a good team."
Saint Louis 64,
New Mexico State 44
In San Jose, Dwayne Evans had 24 points and the fourth-seeded Billikens overwhelmed the Aggies with dominating defense.
Saint Louis had no problem maneuvering around 7-foot-5, 355-pound Aggies freshman Sim Bhullar. Bhullar had four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. The 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11) shot a miserable 28 percent.
Saint Louis (28-6) is 25-3 since a 66-61 loss to Washington in Seattle on Nov. 28.
Mich. St. 65, Valparaiso 54
In Auburn Hills, Mich., Derrick Nix, Michigan State's only senior, had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to power the third-seeded Spartans past 14th-seeded Valparaiso. Michigan State (26-8) plays Memphis on Saturday.
Nix's counterpart, 6-8 Kevin Van Wijk of Valpo (26-8), went 0 for 6 from the field and finished with two points, far below his 12.7 average.
Memphis 54, Saint Mary's 52
In Auburn Hills, Matthew Dellavedova's three-point attempt sailed long as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold off 11th-seeded Saint Mary's.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds. Memphis lost the ball on an inbounds pass with 3.1 seconds left, giving Saint Mary's (28-7) a final chance.
Louisville 79, N.C. A&T 48
In Lexington, Ky., Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals as the top-seeded Cardinals (30-5) demolished 16th-seeded A&T (20-17). Peyton Siva, a former Franklin High School star, had six points and eight assists for Louisville, which faces Colorado State Saturday.
Colorado St. 84, Missouri 72
In Lexington, Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State (26-8) used good shooting and great rebounding to run away from No. 9 seed Missouri. Phil Pressey's 20 points led the Tigers (23-11).