Ducks

Oregon Ducks lose to USC in Sweet 16, worst NCAA Tournament loss in 19 years

Ducks

Not since Buddy Hield eviscerated Oregon in 2016 have the Oregon Ducks looked so outmatched in the NCAA Tournament. 

Evan Mobley and the USC Trojans bodied the Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16 on Sunday, 82-68, to advance to the Elite Eight and play the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. 

It was the worst NCAA Tournament loss for the Oregon Ducks since an 18-point defeat to Florida in the 2002 Elite Eight. 

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Evan Mobley, a projected lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and his 7'0" frame created a matchup nightmare for Oregon, whose tallest starter is 6'6". While Oregon was able to utilize its speed in the Round of 32 against Luka Garza and Iowa, the Trojans were just as athletic and much, much taller than the Ducks. 

Mobley finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks, while his brother Isaiah added 13 points and six rebounds. 

Isaiah White led USC with 22 points and Tahj Eaddy added 20 points. 

Eugene Omoruyi led Oregon with 28 points and ten rebounds becoming the first player in program history to score 25 points and grab double-digit rebounds in a tournament game. Chris Duarte had 21 points on 16 shots. No other Duck scored more than eight points. 

If there was any game Oregon missed former 5-star recruit N'Faly Dante, who is recovering from a torn ACL, it was against the Trojans. 

 

USC shot 59% in the first half while limiting the Ducks to just 30% from the field with a zone defense that made Oregon look like it was the JV team scrimmaging against the varsity. 

Oregon's gameplan was to clearly crash on any post touches from Mobley and hope USC, a team who shot 34.8% from beyond the arc this season (7th in the Pac-12) missed three-pointers. Well, USC shot 55.9% from three in the first half and 58.8% for the game, finishing with 10 made three-pointers. 

With the Trojans shooting like that, it was up to Oregon to keep pace. The Ducks did not as it time and time again failed to break down a zone defense. USC was able to sell out to heavily contest any three-point attempt and funnel the Ducks towards the Mobley brothers who had at least a four-inch height advantage over any Ducks starter. 

Oregon made it interesting late with an 11-0 run to cut the Trojans lead to nine points, but it was too little, too late. USC nailed a three-pointer on the next possession to all but seal the victory.