Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks hope to
continue their streak of upsets as they take on the top-seeded Louisville
Cardinals in the Sweet 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday.
This will be just the fourth meeting in history between these schools on the
hardwood. Oregon holds a 2-1 all-time series edge. The winner of this matchup
will take on either Duke or Michigan State in the Elite Eight.
Dana Altman's Ducks had a impressive season that included wins over
Vanderbilt, UNLV, Arizona, UCLA and Washington, culminating in a Pac-12
Tournament title. Still, Oregon was announced as a 12-seed despite a solid
26-8 record. The low-seeding clearly didn't sit well with the Ducks, as they
coasted past Oklahoma State (68-55) and Saint Louis (74-57) in their first two
tournament games. Arsalan Kazemi, who transferred to Oregon from Rice before
the season, made a huge impact in the win over the Billikens with 16 rebounds.
E.J. Singler (11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg), brother of former Duke star Kyle Singler,
stands as the Ducks' leading scorer and has been in double figures in three of
his last four games. Damyean Dotson scored a game-high 23 points and connected
on 5-of-6 shots from behind the arc for the Ducks as they advanced past the
opening weekend of play in the tournament for the first time since 2007 With
Carlos Emory (11.1 ppg), Kazemi (9.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and Tony Woods (9.1 ppg,
1.1 bpg) all playing at a very high-level, Oregon is going to be tough foe for
any opponent going forward.
Rick Pitino's Cardinals advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 19th time in program
history after downing North Carolina A&T, 82-56, in the second round and then
defeating Colorado State, 82-56, in the round of 32. Collectively, the
Cardinals are shooting 56.9 percent from the field in the tournament, while
holding opponents to 44.4 percent and forcing them into an average of 23.5
turnovers so far. Creating havoc for opposing teams has been the key to the
squad's success this season. The Cardinals led the Big East and rank second
in the nation in steals (10.7 spg). The team recorded an NCAA record 20 steals
against North Carolina A&T in the second round. On the season, the Cardinals'
opposition is scoring just 58.0 points per game and shooting 38.8 percent from
the field. Defense is the key for Louisville, which averages an impressive
23.2 ppg of opponents' turnovers.
Russ Smith (18.4 ppg) has no limitations as a scorer, as he has posted double
figures in 33 games this year. He is virtually unguardable when his jump shot
is on, averaging 25.0 ppg and 5.0 spg in the tournament thus far. Gorgui Dieng
(10.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 70 blocks) is one of the best big men in the nation with
his ability to crash the boards and protect the rim. The speedy Peyton Siva
(9.9 ppg, 5.9 apg) runs the point for the Cardinals and can both score and
create for others, while Chane Behanan (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Wayne Blackshear
(8.0 ppg) and Luke Hancock (7.4 ppg) give Louisville plenty of depth.
The Sports Network