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FRIDAY MEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT/Wooten, Pritchard lead the way as Oregon pulls away in second half for 72-54 win

With Kenny Wooten protecting the rim and Payton Pritchard getting to the rim, the Oregon Ducks continued their late-season surge on Friday, beating Wisconsin 72-54 in a first-round NCAA Tournament game at San Jose, California.

The No. 12-seeded Ducks (24-12) will play 13th-seed UC Irvine on Sunday in the second round. That game is scheduled to start at about 6:40 p.m.

The No. 5 seed Badgers (23-11), the fourth-place team from the Big Ten, struggled to score as Oregon improved to 6-0 in first-round NCAA games under coach Dana Altman.

Pritchard had 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Wooten was credited with four blocked shots, changed several others and drew two offensive fouls.

Freshman forward Louis King continued his strong postseason with 17 points.on 6-of-10 shooting that included making all three of his 3-pointers.

Paul White scored all 14 of his points after halftime and made 2 of 4 3's as the Ducks hit 7 of 15 from distance.

Freshman guard Will Richardson had a solid game off the bench with seven points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal.

The Badgers, a patient offensive team used to playing close games, struggled against Oregon's long, active defense. They shot only 33.3 percent (20 of 60) from the floor, including 6 of 30 (20 percent) from 3-point range.

At the defensive end, the Ducks made things difficult for Wisconsin 6-10 senior Ethan Happ. Happ, who was averaging 17.5 per game this season, was limited to 12 points (on 5-of-10 shooting) and eight rebounds and had five turnovers.

A series of alley-oop dunks got the Ducks rolling after halftime.

Oregon led by nine after a monster jam by Wooten off a Pritchard lob, a play that followed a Wooten blocked shot at the defensive end and forced a Wisconsin timeout with 12:31 left.

King scored five points on in a 7-0 Oregon burst that pushed the lead to 12 points with 4:14 left after a Wooten block triggered a transition layup.

Wisconsin was not closer than 10 points the rest of the way. and Oregon led by 21 in the final minute.

The game was tied at 25 at halftime. Pritchard had 12 points, three assists, three rebounds and one steal at the break. King had seven points.

Pritchard picked up his third foul reaching in for a steal with 17:10 left in the game, but did not commit another foul. Wooten and White also picked up their third fouls early in the second half but played foul free the rest of the way.

Next comes a Sunday matchup with UC Irvine (31-5) after the 13th-seeded Anteaters made a big shot late to upset No. 4 seed Kansas State 70-64 for their 17th win in a row.

The Ducks and Washington will represent the Pac-12 in the second round.

• Ninth-seeded Washington (27-8) pulled away down the stretch to defeat No. 8-seed Utah State 78-61 at Columbus Ohio. Noah Dickerson had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Jaylen Nowell had 19 points and five assists for the Pac-12 regular-season champions. Washington will next face North Carolina or Iona on Sunday in a Midwest Region second-round game.

• Arizona State lost to Buffalo 91-74 as Bobby Hurley's former team eliminated his current team.


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