Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon beats Kansas

The Oregon Ducks knocked off No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks, 74-60 and ensured a trip to Phoenix next week to the Final Four and a possible chance to win the school’s second national championship in basketball. Tyler Dorsey lived up to his nickname “Mr. March” by scoring 27 but it was Jordan Bell who nearly recorded a triple-double that made the win possible.

Bell had 14 rebounds, 11 points and eight blocked shots, frustrated Kansas all afternoon long and kept the Jayhawk offense from shooting over 35 percent for the game. Bell was a force inside as he not only blocked shots but also had seven offensive rebounds and was the most active player on the floor.

Dorsey, who as picked up the nickname “Mr. March” had another big game and was particularly a thorn in the side of Kansas by canning six 3-pointers, including two at the end of the first half that pushed Oregon out to an 11 point lead, 44-33.

In the second half, Dorsey had help in scoring as Oregon had a total of four players finishing in double-digit scoring. Dillon Brooks, the 2016-17 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year finished with 17 points while Dylan Ennis had 12 and Bell ended up with 11.

Oregon switched up its defensive pressure which seemed to keep Kansas confused and when play began in the second half, the Jayhawks were not exactly sure what they wanted to do – hence the poor shooting performance. For the game the Jayhawks shot 35 percent on 21-of-60 shooting and were particularly poor from beyond the 3-point line as Kansas hit only 5-of-25 in long range shots.

Kansas had three players in double-figure scoring. Frank Mason III had 21 while Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Josh Jackson had 10 each.

Oregon on the other hand shot 50.9 percent on 29-of-57 shooting including hitting 11-of-25 three pointers. At one point in the second half because of the hot shooting of Dorsey and Brooks, the Ducks amassed an 18-point lead at 55-37 at the 14:40 mark, but it wasn’t until 4:23 showed on the game clock that Oregon lead was down to a single digit at 66-55. Still Oregon found ways to keep the lead over 10 though Kansas was able to come as close as six with 2:53 left in the game at 66-60.

The Ducks kept the pressure on defensively and Kansas, which had been ineffective near the basket, was forced to launch 3-pointers and too many of the rushed shots simply bounced off the rim into Bell’s hands.

It only seemed appropriate that the last six points Oregon scored were two by Bell following his seventh offensive board then Dorsey hitting the final four points on free throws.

Oregon has not been to a Final Four as it is known in the last few years. The Ducks won the very first NCAA Tournament by beating Ohio State in March of 1939, but it should be noted that the premiere post season tournament during that era was the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) played in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This is an historic win for the Oregon Men’s program.

“I want to thank all the guys that were with us here seven years ago,” said Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman referring to his seven years at Oregon. “This is for them also.”


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