No. 12th seed Oregon State upset the fourth-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys at Hinkle Fieldhouse 80-70 on Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16 in the Midwest region of the NCAA tournament.
Senior guard Ethan Thompson led the Beavers with 26 points on 5-of-11 shooting and seven rebounds. Oregon State also got a tough and unexpected lift from junior forward Maurice Calloo, who scored 15 points in the first half. Calloo came into play with an average of 5.2 points.
Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham, a first-team All-American and projected NBA lottery pick, finished with 24 points, four rebounds and three assists, but the Cowboys rushed the trajectory and sometimes failed to get him the ball. to deliver.
“It’s special,” Cunningham said of his time in Oklahoma State. “I think that’s the best way to describe it. I think the most important thing is that I’ve surrounded myself with great people, more than something I’m most proud of. That’s the thing, I feel like I grew up with the most by being around good people who pushed me to be someone good on the field and beyond. I will definitely miss it. “
The Beavers scored 44 runs in the first half, the highest amount allowed by Oklahoma State in a first half this season. Their 44-30 half-time lead was also Oklahoma State’s worst half-time deficit of the season. The Cowboys shot 27.7% of the floor for the game, their worst shooting performance since 2014.
After the game, Thompson said, “This team had some big goals during the season. One of them was to win a Pac-12 tournament championship, of course also a Pac-12 regular season championship, but we didn’t. We have the tournament championship. The ultimate goal is to win the NCAA championship. “
Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle held emotions after the game. His father was a dean of students at Loyola-Chicago, the team the Beavers will meet at Sweet 16 on March 27.
“I grew up on their campus,” said Tinkle.
He added, “Coach Moser has done a great job. They are a great team. This is really going to be something extra special for me and my family.”
Oregon State was chosen to finish last in the Pac-12 and had to win the conference tournament to make it to the NCAA field. The Beavers managed to do that and drove past No. 5 seed Tennessee in the first round.
Tinkle took the opportunity to speak on the Pac-12 during his media availability, now 6-0 in the NCAA tournament.
“We have some talented, talented teams in our league,” he said. “We are clearly informing everyone. I am very happy with our program, but I am extremely happy with the Pac-12 conference.
“Maybe we’re getting some damn respect now.”
Oregon State has now won five consecutive games in elimination settings – three in the Pac-12 tournament and two in the NCAA tournament. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Beavers’ BPI chance of winning was less than 30% in each of these games, and the odds of all five winning was about 1 in 2,800.
With Oregon State’s win, there will be at least four double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16 for the third time, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Oral Roberts (15), Oregon State (12) and Syracuse (11) are already here, and (11) UCLA will play against (14) Abilene Christian on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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