Only The Elite Remain: Previewing No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 2 Oklahoma


Friday, March 25th 2016, 3:59 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


Amidst one of the best individual seasons the program has ever seen, Buddy Hield has his Sooners headed back to the Elite Eight for a matchup against the one-seeded Oregon Ducks. This UO vs OU battle will tip off at 5:09 p.m. on Saturday.

Related: Sooners Boom The Aggies

Here are a few things to know about the do or die showdown:

Is Oregon the Warriors of college basketball?

The Ducks are one of the best teams in the nation for a reason and are fresh off a 31-6 season with wins over Holy Cross, Saint Joseph’s and Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

Four Oregon players average double digit scoring per game and leading the way is their best player Dillon Brooks. The sophomore averages 17 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest, and is a tough guard for any perimeter defender due to his aggressive offensive mentality and six-foot-six frame. 

Elgin Cook (14.6 ppg), Tyler Dorsey (13.5 ppg) and Chris Boucher (12 ppg) make up the rest of Oregon’s impact players. Brooks does most of the scoring, while Dorsey is a sharpshooter from the outside. Cook (5.2 rpg) and Boucher (7.3 rpg) deserve respect down low while Boucher also makes the Ducks tough to guard due to his versatility to be able to knock down the outside shot.

Along with that Oregon foursome, the Ducks have the luxury of very good point guard play from Casey Benson. The sophomore averages a team-high four assists while turning the ball over less than once per game. Six-foot-eight freshman, Jordan Bell, is a great defensive player and hosted a block party against Duke in the Sweet 16 with three blocks while accumulating seven throughout the tourney. 

Coach Familiarity                                      

OU head coach Lon Kruger and Oregon head coach Dana Altman are very familiar with one another, seeing Altman was an assistant for Kruger at Kansas State from 1986-1989 and then succeeded Kruger as the Wildcats' coach after he left for Florida.

"Thirty years ago he gave me my first job in division one. He's been a great friend of mine and a great mentor for the last 30 years," Altman said of Kruger. "We've avoided playing each other because I have so much respect for him. And like I said, he's been unbelievable to me throughout the 30 years, so the good thing is one of us is going to go to the Final four."

Altman has been credited with the overall success of the Ducks this season --his sixth at the school-- and was named the 2016 Pac 12 Coach of the year after leading Oregon to Pac 12 regular season and tournament titles. The Ducks also recorded 31 wins this season, which is the most in school history.

Program histories

The Sooners are making their ninth overall trip to the Elite Eight and it’ll be the first time OU has made it back since 2009 when Blake Griffin lost to Tyler Hansbrough’s Tar Heels. OU is looking to advance to its fifth-ever final four with a win over the Ducks.

Oregon made the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history, and the fourth time in a row. Despite the recent success, the Ducks experienced some brutal years where they experienced a tourney drought from 1962-1994.

Interestingly enough, Oregon's looking to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 1939, when they played (and beat) the Sooners on their way to winning the program’s only National Championship. OU lost its only other meeting with Oregon back in the 1940-41 season.

The Ducks are one of the best teams in the nation for a reason and are fresh off a 31-6 season with wins over Holy Cross, Saint Joseph’s and Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

Four Oregon players average double digit scoring per game and leading the way is their best player Dillon Brooks. The sophomore averages 17 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest, and is a tough guard for any perimeter defender due to his aggressive offensive mentality and six-foot-six frame. 

Elgin Cook (14.6 ppg), Tyler Dorsey (13.5 ppg) and Chris Boucher (12 ppg) make up the rest of Oregon’s impact players. Brooks does most of the scoring, while Dorsey is a sharpshooter from the outside. Cook (5.2 rpg) and Boucher (7.3 rpg) deserve respect down low while Boucher also makes the Ducks tough to guard due to his versatility to be able to knock down the outside shot.

Along with that Oregon foursome, the Ducks have the luxury of very good point guard play from Casey Benson. The sophomore averages a team-high four assists while turning the ball over less than once per game. Six-foot-eight freshman, Jordan Bell, is a great defensive player and hosted a block party against Duke in the Sweet 16 with three blocks while accumulating seven throughout the tourney. 

Coach Familiarity                                      

OU head coach Lon Kruger and Oregon head coach Dana Altman are very familiar with one another, seeing Altman was an assistant for Kruger at Kansas State from 1986-1989 and then succeeded Kruger as the Wildcats' coach after he left for Florida.

"Thirty years ago he gave me my first job in division one. He's been a great friend of mine and a great mentor for the last 30 years," Altman said of Kruger. "We've avoided playing each other because I have so much respect for him. And like I said, he's been unbelievable to me throughout the 30 years, so the good thing is one of us is going to go to the Final four."

Dana Altman says he has incredible respect for Lon Kruger who gave him his first Div 1 job 30 yrs ago @ KSU. @news9 pic.twitter.com/f3NKRIwdZf

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 25, 2016

Altman has been credited with the overall success of the Ducks this season --his sixth at the school-- and was named the 2016 Pac 12 Coach of the year after leading Oregon to Pac 12 regular season and tournament titles. The Ducks also recorded 31 wins this season, which is the most in school history.

Oregon's coach Dana Altman n Anaheim. The more I talk w coaches/BB ppl the more I believe he's 1 of the best. @news9 pic.twitter.com/SLKVYZ4nw2

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 23, 2016

Program histories

The Sooners are making their ninth overall trip to the Elite Eight and it’ll be the first time OU has made it back since 2009 when Blake Griffin lost to Tyler Hansbrough’s Tar Heels. OU is looking to advance to its fifth-ever final four with a win over the Ducks.

Oregon made the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history, and the fourth time in a row. Despite the recent success, the Ducks experienced some brutal years where they experienced a tourney drought from 1962-1994.

Interestingly enough, Oregon's looking to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 1939, when they played (and beat) the Sooners on their way to winning the program’s only National Championship. OU lost its only other meeting with Oregon back in the 1940-41 season.

","published":"2016-03-25T20:59:31.000Z","updated":"2016-03-25T21:28:49.000Z","summary":"

Oklahoma is making its ninth trip to the Elite Eight when the Sooners square off with one-seeded Oregon on Saturday at 5:09 p.m. in Anaheim. Here's a preview of what the Ducks will look like. 

","affiliate":{"_id":"5cc353fe1c9d440000d3b70f","callSign":"kwtv","origin":"https://www.news9.com"},"contentClass":"sports_ou","createdAt":"2020-01-31T23:13:45.218Z","updatedAt":"2020-03-31T17:18:31.863Z","__v":1,"show":true,"link":"/story/5e34b4a9527dcf49dad8e4ea/only-the-elite-remain:-previewing-no-1-oregon-vs-no-2-oklahoma","hasSchedule":false,"id":"5e34b4a9527dcf49dad8e4ea"};