ANAHEIM, California – The Oregon Ducks took a double-digit lead early in the second half against the defending national champions, and they never flinched down the stretch.
After taking down mighty Duke with remarkably little drama, these high-flying Ducks are on the brink of the Final Four.
Dillon Brooks scored 22 points and Oregon advanced with an 82-68 victory over the Blue Devils on Thursday night in the West Region semifinal of the NCAA Tournament.
Elgin Cook had 16 points and nine rebounds for the top-seeded Ducks (31-6), who will meet Oklahoma on Saturday. The second-seeded Sooners routed Texas A&M 77-63.
After a season-long rise in the Pacific Northwest, the Pac-12 champion Ducks emphatically arrived on the national stage with a strong second-half rally to beat the Blue Devils (25-11) for the first time in school history.
“I think we don’t have a history of being a basketball school, but I think we did some great things this year to prove we deserve it,” said Jordan Bell, who had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Oregon was the champion of the first NCAA Tournament in 1939, but hasn’t been back to the Final Four since. The Ducks advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2007 and the third time since 2002.
Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 24 points, but Duke fell short of its third Elite Eight trip in five years.
No. 2 Oklahoma 77, No. 3 Texas A&M 63: In Anaheim, Jordan Woodard scored 22 points and Buddy Hield had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sooners in a romp over cold-shooting Texas A&M.
No. 1 Kansas 79, No. 5 Maryland 63: In Louisville, Kentucky, Perry Ellis scored 27 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 19 and Kansas ousted Maryland.
No. 2 Villanova 92, No. 3 Miami 69: In Louisville, Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins each scored 21 points, and Villanova never trailed in routing Miami.