#2 Oklahoma (28-7) vs #1 Oregon (31-6)
When: Saturday, March 26th 2016
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Time: 6:09 ET | TV: CBS
The Oregon Ducks are one win away from reaching the Final Four for the first time since the very first NCAA Tournament – 77 years ago – when they battle the second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. Oregon survived a scare from eighth-seeded St. Joseph’s in the Round of 32, coming from seven points down in the final five minutes to defeat the Hawks 69-64, but left no doubt that they deserved a number one seed in the next round. The Ducks thoroughly manhandled the Duke Blue Devils 82-68 thanks to 46 second half points. Leading scorer Dillon Brooks (17.0) led the way with 22 points and now has 47 points in the last two games. Elgin Cook is a 6-foot-6 forward like Brooks, but prefers to play more on the inside, where he’s averaging 15.0 points and 8.7 rebounds in the tournament. Tyler Dorsey had a strong finish to the regular season, but has struggled with just 30 points in the tournament on 9-of-29 shooting. The Ducks also feature two elite shot blockers in Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell, who combined for four of Oregon’s five blocks against Duke. The Ducks also advanced to the Elite Eight in 1960, 2002, and 2007, but were defeated each time.
The Sooners continue to ride the wave of star Buddy Hield and a veteran starting squad that has played the last 102 games together. After scoring 52 points in the first two tournament games, Hield was limited to 17 in a 77-63 win over Texas A&M, but did pull down a season-high 10 rebounds. Hield averages 25.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds a game on the season overall. Jordan Woodard is having the second-best tournament showing on the team behind Hield, averaging 18 points through the first three games while shooting 9-for-16 from long range. Isaiah Cousins (12.8 points) had a rough outing against the Aggies, scoring a season-low 2 points on 1-of-8 shooting, but he did contribute eight assists and committed only two turnovers. Freshman guard Christian James (2.8 points) played a season-high 28 minutes on Thursday and contributed 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger also led Florida and Kansas State to the Elite Eight, becoming the sixth coach in NCAA history to reach that round with at least three different teams.
This Oregon team is no joke. They can score and play defense and they’ve been taken lightly all season long. They have a chip on their shoulders that will carry them into the Final Four for the first time in 77 years.
Pick: Oregon -1.5