Sports

No. 12 Oregon State upends Tennessee for first March Madness win since ’82

The hangover will wait. Oregon State can’t go home just yet. The Beavers haven’t had this much fun in 39 years.

The team picked to finish dead last in the Pac-12, the team which sat at .500 one month ago, the team which needed to beat three NCAA Tournament-bound teams in three days to win the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time, is now a team with its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1982.

The 12th-seeded Beavers, 8½-point underdogs, added another remarkable chapter to their incredible run with a wire-to-wire domination of No. 5 seed Tennessee, 70-56, Friday in the first round of the Midwest Region in Indianapolis.

The Beavers (17-12) have won seven of their past eight games and next play No. 4 Oklahoma State with a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 in just their second tournament appearance since 1990. Oregon State had lost its previous seven NCAA Tournament games.

“In the preseason, when we saw that we were picked 12th, it really lit a fire under all of us,” said senior center Roman Silva, who scored a career-high 16 points. “To be picked 12th, to be seeded 12th, we keep seeing the number. It feels great to take this win. To have success on the biggest stage is amazing.”

oregon state coach wayne tinkly celebrates
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle celebrates a three-pointer during a NCAA tournament upset of Tennessee.
Getty Images

Though the Beavers were expected to struggle against one of the nation’s top defenses, Tennessee (18-8) made it so that Oregon State never took a shot while trailing. The Volunteers scored just 11 points in the game’s first 16 minutes and fell into a 19-point hole, missing their first nine 3-pointers.

The preseason SEC favorites were ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation this season. But the Volunteers shot 25.8 percent from the field in the first half and went 5-for-26 on 3-pointers in the game.

“They looked like being here in the NCAA Tournament is something they’ve grown up watching,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “They were out of character in terms of, yeah, you could tell that they were skittish. There’s no doubt about it. … I said, ‘Look, we can’t be afraid to play basketball now.’ … You keep thinking about calling timeouts, but sometimes you feel like the more timeouts you call, the more they tighten up, and you’re just hoping they’ll get going, get loose, make some shots, but we didn’t.

“There’s no doubt at the start of the game that we had guys that had a little bit of stage fright.”

Silva, Oregon State’s 7-footer, looked ready for Broadway.

Silva had averaged 5.3 points this season and had scored a total of 11 points during three Pac-12 Tournament games, but he hit each of his eight shot attempts, while freeing teammates on the perimeter to go 10-for-21 from 3-point range.

“Doing my work early down there, we knew it was a physical team and we knew if we made our presence felt it would open the floor for us,” Silva said. “It really helped set the tone for the rest of the game.”

The ride of a generation continues for the team from Corvallis, Ore. The final stop has never seemed so far away.

“We knew what we had the makings of way back when,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “We knew there was doubt along the way. We always ignore that stuff. … We never threw in the towel. We never doubted ourselves. We kept working and we peaked at the right time. it shouldn’t have been a surprise…. We knew we’d get to playing our best basketball when it matters most. It’s been a fun ride for sure, we’ll be able to enjoy it sometimes down the road, but it’s not a surprise with the talent and toughness and heart on this team.”


ALSO READ  Real Madrid thrash Huesca to regain top spot
Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
eskisehir escort -

jojobet.live

- redwin1.club - jetbahis.contact -
retrobet
- tempobeteskisehir escort -

jojobet.live

- redwin1.club - jetbahis.contact -
retrobet
- tempobet