BYU to rematch Oregon in first round of NCAA Tournament

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When BYU received an invitation to go to the NCAA tournament, there were two things they did not expect but couldn’t have been happier about. First, they were selected as a No. 10 seed, much higher than experts speculated. Second, they were set to take on the Oregon Ducks in Milwaukee.

Oregon and BYU have  regular season history and BYU is certainly going to use that to their advantage going into tomorrow’s game.

Tyler Haws celebrates beside teammate  Matt Carlino after scoring against Saint Mary's in the second half of the game in Moraga, Calif. Photo courtesy AP Photo/Ben Margot.
Tyler Haws celebrates beside teammate Matt Carlino after scoring against Saint Mary’s in the second half of the game in Moraga, Calif. Photo courtesy AP Photo/Ben Margot.

Earlier in the regular season the Cougars faced the Ducks at Oregon in a tough non-conference game. In the end, BYU lost, but the Cougars kept up with the Ducks’ pace and even owned an eight-point lead at one juncture.

“We do like this matchup,” said Tyler Haws. “They play a fun style and an uptempo style. We had our chances to beat them up at their place so we like this challenge.”

Oregon pulled out the 100-96 win against BYU in overtime — a physical game that pushed both teams to the breaking point. The Ducks’ Jason Callistee scored a career-high 31 points, while Tyler Haws contributed 32 for the Cougars. Kyle Collinsworth added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Collinsworth’s absence due to injury will be felt as the Cougars rematch the Ducks, but his teammates understand they will have to step up to fill in the gap.

“Emotionally it has been tough because we are losing a key part of our team and he does so much for us that to come into practice without him is an unreal feeling,” Anson Winder said. “We all just have to step up and battle through it and we have made the proper changes and adjustments so we can make more plays.”

The key for BYU will be to read Oregon and adjust accordingly. In their last matchup, Oregon did nothing but adjust their game in order to pull out the win. And it worked.

“We just knew we had to get stops and rebounds,” said Oregon’s Calliste of the early-season game. “That would dictate whether or not we would win or lose the game. And by the end of the game we got stops, we got rebounds, we got free throws and we won the game.”

The Ducks are known to be hot and cold — starting out the season a strong team, then going on a losing streak in the middle. Recently they regained momentum, bringing a revamped team into the tournament.

Similary, BYU went on a hot streak right up until the WCC Championship game where they were derailed by Gonzaga, 75-64. The team remains unfazed as they head to Milwaukee, their minds set on revenge.

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