Yahoo Sports College reporter Pete Thamel takes you through 7-seed Oregon’s trouncing of 2-seed Iowa behind hot shooting and a great gameplay, and explains how the Pac-12 has taken the 2021 NCAA Tournament by storm.
PETE THAMEL: Will the road to the Final Four be found on the Oregon Trail? This is Pete Thamel from Yahoo Sports, where we have two schools from Oregon that have entrenched themselves in the Sweet 16.
Oregon State stunned Oklahoma State late Sunday night, and they were joined by their brethren in Eugene on Monday afternoon. The Ducks waxed Iowa 95 to 80. Oregon shot 55% from the field, hit 11 of 25 three-pointers, and had 25 assists. For all the improvement Iowa's defense made in the last six weeks of the season, it disappeared in a blaze of green.
Dana Altman continues to be one of the tournament's most successful coaches. Oregon's ability to switch defenses, ability to multiple on offenses makes the Ducks a difficult prep, especially on a one-day turnaround.
So what does this mean for the Pac-12? Well, they're 8 and 0 after Oregon's win, and they have three more swings at the Sweet 16 on Monday. Colorado, USC, and UCLA all have chances to advance. This is the year the Pac is back, and nobody epitomizes it more than Oregon, which looked like it could be a threat to Gonzaga down the line with the way it manhandled the 2nd-seeded Hawkeyes.
Chris Duarte had 23 points. Will Richardson had 19 and 7 assists. And the Ducks look every bit of a Final Four contender.