Oregon derails Kansas, lands first Final Four trip since 1939
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 8:14
Sabrina Ionescu led five OR players in double figures with 21 points and the tenth-seeded Ducks continued their improbable run through the NCAA Tournament with a 77-63 upset win over third-seeded Maryland.
Now the Zags are headed to the desert, where they'll play the victor between SC and Florida in next week's Final Four.
Sabrina Ionescu, the highest-ranked recruit the Ducks have ever landed, finished with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds against Maryland. But their dream season ended with a thud just 40 minutes from campus on a night where very little went right.
But the perception among many will be this: The Jayhawks' season was a failure because they lost in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament, and then blew a chance to make it back to the Final Four on a night where their offense suddenly cooled off and their defense never showed up.
Which leads to another fascinating factor: Oregon's in the Final Four despite Brooks being merely OK. "We will see the Oregon Ducks cutting down the National Championship nets". Bell owned the paint, and almost pulled off a triple-double in unique fashion: 11 points (5-of-6 from the field), 13 rebounds, and eight blocks. Thousands of fans in red and blue were rallying hours before the tipoff, turning it into a de facto road game.
Brooks' all-around game was on display with 17 points, five boards, four assists and a steal.
Now the 10th-seeded Ducks will try to end the Huskies' 110-game winning streak in the Bridgeport Regional final on Monday at Webster Bank Arena (4 p.m., ESPN).
The Ducks kept dancing in the second half, beating the Jayhawks at their own game: Getting into transition, passing up good shots for better ones and knocking down 3-pointers.
Sophomore guard Lagerald Vick came in for Jackson and helped keep Kansas in the game, scoring seven points.
Jackson didn't score until midway through the second half.
When Svi Mykhailiuk scored to make it 64-55, Ennis answered with a driving basket.
Even when Bell wasn't blocking shots, he altered several others and affected the way Kansas attempted shots in the paint.
Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points and the top-seeded Bulldogs are in the national semifinals for the first time following an 83-59 thrashing of No. 11 Xavier in the West Regional final at San Jose.
Coach Bill Self gave OR credit for controlling the game.
(1) SC 100, (12) Quinnipiac 58: Kaela Davis, A'ja Wilson and top-seeded SC (30-4) overpowered NCAA Tournament surprise Quinnipiac from the opening tip, scoring the first 16 points in Stockton, California. The defense, a soft spot in the past, shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to win the West Region. Sunday's schedule includes a Kentucky-North Carolina matchup in the South Region and an all-SEC showdown between Florida and SC in the East Region. Still, it was an overwhelmingly successful season for the Ducks, who knew they would be returning just about every key player from that team for 2016-17.
OR has been consistent in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags found the range early against Xavier, hitting 8 of 13 from the arc in the first half, mostly against the Musketeers' zone or on kick-outs from center Przemek Karnowski. He can do virtually everything, but he cannot take on five guys himself, as much as he had to scoring those 15 straight points to hold the halftime deficit to 44-33. "The Jayhawks scored only 27 points in the second half against the Ducks".