Oregon beats Duke, advances to Elite 8

Oregon beats Duke, advances to Elite 8

The Ducks are going to the Elite 8.

Using their depth and speed, Oregon defeated the national champions Duke Blue Devils 82–68 to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2007. The loss of the Blue Devils means there will be a new national champion.

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The win by Oregon is seen as a redemption for the Pac 12 Conference, which sent seven teams in the NCAA tournament but only one team surviving to the second week of action.

The Ducks relied on their speed and depth as the Blue Devils did not have enough energy to match the West Region’s no.1 seed. Five players scored in double figures for the team, led by the 22 points of Dilon Brooks, who also had five rebounds and six assists. Sophomore guard Corey Benson had 11 points, eight assists and a turnover as he served as the key for the Ducks all game long.

But while the offense was superb for Oregon, the defense also contributed. They threw different defensive looks at Duke switching from man to matchup zone keeping the Blue Devils off balanced. It was the duo of Jordan Bell and Chris Boucher holding the fort.

Duke played zone defense but the Ducks still got quality looks through sound ball movement and player rotation. The Ducks finished the game shooting 49.2 percent from the field, but shot better in the second half of the game.

The Blue Devils were led by Brandon Ingram, who had 24 points, but needed 20 shots to get there. Grayson Allen only had 15 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Duke relied on their 3-point shooting throughout the season and they went 7-for-22 from that spot against Oregon.

Duke played without one of their key players in Amile Jefferson, who went out with an injury last December.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but praises for the Ducks. “They were the better team. That was pretty obvious tonight,” Krzyzewski said “They were an old, extremely well-coached team. Great athletes playing together and they knocked us back.”

Oregon will play Oklahoma in the Elite 8, with the winner advancing to the Final Four.

Photo Courtesy: Sprywolf/Disney Wikia.org