NCAA Tournament: Oregon and Oklahoma State Headed in Different Directions


The Oregon Ducks will bring some NCAA Tournament experience into the Second Round game with Oklahoma State on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska. It will be the fourteenth time that Head Coach Dana Altman has taken a team to the NCAA Tournament, including his third trip with Oregon.

Last season Elgin Cook and Joseph Young carried Oregon to the Sweet 16. This year they will be asked to lead the team which should not be too difficult a task. Both Young and Cook had been instrumental this season in getting the team this far. Young is averaging just over twenty points per game and over twenty five points per game in the second half of the regular season. Young also has a flair for the dramatic.

More from Autzen Zoo

The Senior hit the game winning shot in the Pac-12 Tournament against Utah for a 67-64 win and has also had key moments in the regular season including final possessions against Arizona State and free throws to seal a win in the same game against the Sun Devils. One issue that the Ducks have had all season is beating top ten teams, they faced Arizona three times, including in the Pac-12 Title game, and lost all three.

The Oregon Ducks opponent Oklahoma State did not have the same problem and beat two top ten ranked teams in the regular season including Kansas State and Baylor, who at the time were ranked second and ninth respectively.

Oklahoma State is led by Le’Bryan Nash who is averaging 17.1 points per game this season and has hit double digits in scoring in every game this season. Phil Forte also helps pace the Offense for Oklahoma State with 17.6 points per game. Nash and Forte are a part of an experienced starting lineup with three Seniors and two Juniors.

Oregon and Oklahoma State have had just one common opponent this season. Oregon State faced and lost to both teams. The Ducks beat the Beavers three times this season. Oklahoma State beat the Beavers in the Las Vegas Classic during the non-conference slate.

When it comes to Defense this season both teams have become, well downright defensive. Oklahoma State ranks 23rd in the NCAA for blocked shots with five per game. The Oregon Ducks come in 69th, but have the Pac-12 leader in Shot Blocks in Jordan Bell, who earlier his year set the mark for most in an Oregon uniform. In the early part of the season Bell was on a tear averaging five blocks per game. He will look to regain that average entering the NCAA Tournament.

The Ducks and Cowboys appear headed in different directions. Oregon has won twelve of their last fourteen, while Oklahoma State has lost seven of their last eight games.

Oregon and Oklahoma State tipoff at 3:50pm Pacific Time on Friday from Omaha, Nebraska. The game will be broadcast on TBS. The winner will likely face the top seed in the region in Wisconsin on Sunday.