UC Irvine vs. Oregon: A Cinderella will advance to the Sweet 16 – Los Angeles Times

UC Irvine vs. Oregon: A Cinderella will advance to the Sweet 16 - Los Angeles Times
How to watch NCAA Tournament: Oregon vs UC Irvine
The No. 12 seed Oregon Ducks (24-12) will make their sixth trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the last nine years Sunday evening in San Jose, California, which is in the South Region. Here is how you can watch the Ducks play on TV or on a stream, plus more information about the matchup against No. 13 seed UC-Irvine.

“Weve heard the background of this team, that they havent lost since January, said Oregon senior forward Paul White of the Anteaters. “No matter what conference youre in, no matter what division youre playing in, thats still pretty tough to do. I think they won 30-plus games this year.

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber gestures during the first half of a first round mens college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament against UC Irvine Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)MoreBrown is an experienced veteran who averaged 2.4 fouls per 40 minutes this season and has fouled out of just three times in the past four years. He had given his head coach no reason not to trust him to play through foul trouble on a day when Kansas State badly needed him.

UC Irvine vs. Oregon – 3/24/19 NCAA March Madness Pick, Odds, and Prediction

“Weve watched them. We watched some film on them. We watched them play some yesterday, and you know, theyre a very smart but fast team. And thats one of the things that we have to take into account. So theyve gotten to this point for a reason. And for that we for sure have to respect them. Definitely not a Cinderella, though.”

Weber deserves ample praise for overcoming injuries to guide Kansas State to a share of a Big 12 title this season, but his inflexibility handling Browns foul trouble Friday afternoon was a costly mistake. Fear of Brown picking up a third first-half foul isnt sufficient reason to bench him for that long given the seniors foul history, Kansas States reliance on him and the quality of the Wildcats opponent.

How a misguided decision by its coach contributed to Kansas States early exit

Follow DuckTerritory.com for pregame, in-game, and postgame coverage, analysis, video, photos, and more as the Ducks try and get to their fourth Sweet 16 in the last seven seasons.

While driving lanes for Kansas State were scarce against UC Irvines tightly packed zone defense, Brown might have been able to slither through them often enough to help the Wildcats maintain a slight halftime lead. The Big 12s defensive player of the year also undoubtedly would have made some difference guarding UC Irvine perimeter standouts Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard were he on the floor.

Date: Sunday, March 24thTime: Estimated 6:40 p.m PTLocation: San Jose, California / SAP Center (17,496)TV: Spero Dedes, Len Elmore, and Steve Smith on the call with Ros Gold-Onwude providing sideline reporting on TBS. You can also stream the game on MarchMadness.com.Radio: Oregon Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (95.3 FM KUJZ in Eugene/Springfield) with Joey McMurry on play-by-play and Jerry Allen as the analyst; Chris Carrino, play-by-play; Mike Montgomery, analyst on Westwood OneBetting Line: According to the Westgate Superbook, the Oregon Ducks are a 5-point favorite over the UC Irvine Anteaters.Series History: The Ducks and the Anteaters have never played against each other in the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks hold an overall 6-2 series lead.Last Meeting: Oregon 78, UC Irvine 63, December 15th, 2015 (Eugene, Oregon)Current Streak:  Oregon has won five straight games against UC Irvine.Last Oregon Win: Oregon 78, UC Irvine 63, December 15th, 2015 (Eugene, Oregon)Last Wisconsin Win: UC Irvine 46, Oregon 42, November 29th, 1982 (Irvine, California)

A big, experienced team that leads the nation in two-point field-goal percentage defense and excels at altering shots around the rim, UC Irvine in many ways is built to give Kansas State fits. The Wildcats are a poor perimeter shooting team, a flaw further exacerbated by the absence of standout forward and pick-and-pop specialist Dean Wade due to injury.

G – Payton Pritchard 6-foot-2 JR 12.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.6 apgG – Louis King 6-foot-9 FR 13.3 ppg, 5.6 rpgF – Paul White 6-foot-9 SR 10.7 ppg, 3.9 rpgF – Kenny Wooten 6-foot-9 SO 6.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 bpgC – Francis Okoro 6-foot-9 FR 3.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Thirteenth-seeded UC Irvine took advantage of Browns absence, erasing a 10-point deficit by holding Kansas States anemic offense without a field goal for the final six minutes before halftime. Brown then struggled to generate any second-half rhythm after sitting so long, finishing a 70-64 loss with just five points and still only two fouls.

F – Jonathan Galloway 6-foot-10 SR 7.0 ppg, 8.0 rpgF – Tommy Rutherford 6-foot-8 JR 6.8 ppg, 4.4 rpgG – Max Hazzard 5-foot-10 JR 12.5 ppg, 1.9 rpgG – Robert Cartwright 6-foot-2 SR 6.8 ppg, 2.3 apgG – Evan Leonard 6-foot-1 JR 11.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Asked at halftime about benching Brown for so long by Turner Sports sideline reporter Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Weber told her, As long as we were ahead, we were going to keep him on the bench. The Kansas State coach reiterated that stance during his postgame news conference as well.

The UC Irvine Anteaters and the Oregon Ducks will meet up on the college basketball court in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday.

The defining play of the game for Brown arrived in the final minute with Kansas State still within two. Brown tried to kick to teammate Cartier Diarra spotted up behind the arc, but a miscommunication led to the pass sailing into the Kansas State bench for an ill-timed turnover.

Oregon comes in here at 24-12 overall on the year. The Ducks took out Washington in the Pac-12 Tournament, then came out in the First Round of the Big Dance with a 72-54 upset over Wisconsin Friday.

The Wildcats shot poorly from the perimeter, turned the ball over too often and missed Wades ability to draw opposing big men out of the paint. Meanwhile, the Anteaters played with poise, defended relentlessly and hit some big threes down the stretch.

In the win over the Badgers, Oregons lead scorer was Payton Pritchard with 19 points, eight assists and five rebonds. Louis King also had a nice line for the Ducks in that one with 17 points and four boards.

Theres also no denying that figuring out when to sit foul-plagued players isnt easy. Heck, UC Irvine coach Russell Turner benched guard Robert Cartwright for much of the first half with two fouls, and nobody will criticize him for it.

Over on the UC Irvine side, theyre 31-5 overall. The Anteaters plowed through the Big West Tournament, then managed a shocking upset of Kansas State in First Round action on Friday.

I kind of made the wrong pass, Brown told reporters after the game. I didnt read it right. I should have just dribbled it out. Just made the wrong read in a crucial part of the game. Definitely on me. Should have been better.

In the win over the Wildcats, UC Irvines Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard each bagged 19 points to lead the team, and combined for 10 rebounds with four assists. Elston Jones added 11 points and five boards for the Anteaters there as well.

But with all the data available these days, it seems fair to expect coaches to avoid automatically removing a star with two early fouls without considering the context of the situation.

The Anteaters are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine after an ATS win and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 after a straight-up win. UC-Irvine is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 overall and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 versus the Pac-12.

Weber needlessly sat first-team all-Big 12 guard Barry Brown for the rest of the first half after he picked up his second foul less than six minutes into the game.

Meanwhile, the Ducks are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games and 9-0 ATS in their last nine overall. Oregon is 5-1 ATS in their last six Sunday games and 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 versus the Big West.

Instead Brown sat while UC Irvine gained confidence. Then he couldnt seem to get anything going during a cold-shooting second half.

Oregon is on a nice run right now, following that stretch of Pac-12 play and keeping things going in a great victory over Wisconsin. That makes nine straight wins for the Ducks, and theyve really been solid defensively for the most part during that run.

Basically, this is a matchup not too many people projected, but itll make for a fun-to-watch game. All things considered, I think the Anteaters are a bit out of their element (though that hasnt stopped them before) and Im going to stick with the Ducks on the cover. Realistically, Im probably not going near this game, but the over does seem tempting—both these teams can put up the points.

Andrew has been with Sports Chat Place since 2012, contributing to football, baseball and basketball across the fantasy, college and professional ranks. His goal is to break down the complicated trends and numbers into a language thats accessible even if youre not a seasoned sports bettor, providing comprehensive insight that can apply to just about everyone. Follow Andrew on Twitter for links to his latest Sports Chat Place picks. 

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