Talented USC beats Oregon, 82-68, in Sweet 16
Oregon won't be joining rival Oregon State in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
The sixth-seeded USC Trojans burst to a big first-half lead and never looked back, beating the seventh-seeded Ducks 82-68 Sunday in a West Region semifinal at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
USC (25-7) earned the right to play No. 1-ranked Gonzaga (29-0) in the Elite Eight on Tuesday.
The Ducks (21-7) couldn't find any offensive balance or any answers for the talented Trojans, who shot well from the outside and could rely on brothers Evan Mobley and Isaiah Mobley on the inside while also playing stellar defense with their athleticism, length in an active zone that had the Ducks off balance.
The Trojans, who beat Oregon 72-58 during the regular season, led 33-19 after a 12-0 run in the first half. The Mobleys each scored, Tahj Eaddy made a 3-pointer, Drew Peterson buried a 3 and Eaddy scored on a drive.
An Eaddy drive made it 41-26 at halftime, as the Trojans shot .571 from the field (5 of 9 3-pointers) and allowed UO to shoot only .313 (3 of 12 3-pointers).
The lead grew to 20 points and then 21, 64-43, on Isaiah Mobley's three-point play.
The Ducks rallied with an 11-0 run, capped by Franck Kepnang's tip-in basket, to draw within 69-60. But, USC responded as Eaddy made a 3-pointer and, after a turnover, Evan Mobley dunked over Kepnang.
Oregon's Eugene Omoruyi had 28 points and 10 rebounds, the first UO player with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in an NCAA tourney game. Chris Duarte had 21 points. The other players combined for only 19 points.
The Ducks shot .377 from the field (5 of 21 3-pointers, .238).
Isaiah White had 22 points and Eaddy 20 to lead the Trojans, who shot .585 from the field (10 of 17 3-pointers, .588) and went 10 of 12 from the free-throw line (.833). The Mobleys combined for 23 points.
Oregon won the Pac-12 regular-season title with a 14-4 record — in part because the second Ducks-Trojans game was canceled because of COVID-19 protocol. USC was 15-5 in Pac-12 play, percentage points behind the Ducks.
Oregon State, meanwhile, won the Pac-12 tourney title and can make the Final Four with a victory Tuesday in an Elite Eight game against Houston. That game is scheduled to tip off at 4:15 p.m. on CBS.
Three of the Elite Eight teams are from the Pac-12. No. 11-seeded UCLA, which had to beat Michigan State in a play-in game to make the field of 64, survived a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by No. 2 seed Alabama that forced overtime and beat the Crimson Tide 88-78.
On Tuesday, USC and Gonzaga play at 4:15 p.m. and UCLA faces No. 1 seed Michigan at 6:57 p.m. Both games are on TBS.
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