It sure didn't look like a No. 4 vs. No. 12 matchup on paper, and it certainly didn't play out as such. The Saint Louis men's basketball team were knocked off by the Ducks, 74-57 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Billikens, who ended the season 28-7, were overmatched from the tip. Pitted against athletes and impressive high-flyers, SLU simply didn't have the bodies to keep up.
UO freshman Daymean Dotson went off for 23 points on 5-for-6 shooting from deep.
SLU could never find an answer for the Oregon zone, as it couldn't get into a rhythm from deep. The Billikens shot just 3-for-21 from behind the arc.
Ducks' big man Arsalan Kazemi cleaned the glass over and over, not allowing SLU to get out and run in transition. He had 16 rebounds, piggy-backing off a strong game against Oklahoma State in which he corralled 17 boards.
A 15-14 SLU advantage quickly turned into a 35-19 halftime lead for Oregon, as threes rained down for the Ducks and the Billikens went 10 minutes without a field goal to end the half.
The beginning of the second half looked promising for SLU, as it got out to a 5-0 run, but a quick Ducks counter put the game out of reach.
Oregon head coach Dana Altman said that keeping SLU forward Dwayne Evans from getting going was key. He scored 16 points on 8-for-13, but struggled to get looks while the Billikens continued to miss from the field.
An evening to forget for juniors Mike McCall Jr. and Rob Loe, who shot a combined 0-for-11 from the field.
A 4-for-10 start from the field for SLU overall then morphed into 16-for-43 the rest of the way, sending the Billikens home early.
What a year it has been for SLU, though. For tragedy to afflict this team in such a serious way and still win the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles is amazing. The Bills must now find replacements for seniors Kwamain Mitchell, Cody Ellis, and Cory Remekun.
The Bills have a formidable quad of juniors in Dwayne Evans, Mike McCall, Jordair Jett, and Rob Loe. How they can build on this season will be very interesting to watch in 2013-14.
EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: A 28-7 season after what those guys have been through is nothing to be ashamed of. SLU simply got an incredibly tough draw in an unfavorable matchup against Oregon on Saturday. In my opinion, they should've been a 6 or 7. Tough to think that you lose just eight games in the Pac-12, including winning the conference tournament, and you're still one of the last teams in the field. Credit must be given to the Ducks. That was one of the most dominant performances against SLU that we've seen all year, and the Billikens were stymied from the get-go.