Dorsey 3-pointer rescues No. 3 seed Oregon
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Third-seeded Oregon needed a clutch shot to survive the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Tyler Dorsey drained a 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to help the Ducks advance to the Sweet 16 with a dramatic 75-72 victory over 11th-seeded Rhode Island on Sunday in a Midwest Regional game at the Golden 1 Center.
Dorsey scored 27 points for Oregon (31-5), which will face seventh-seeded Michigan on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. Dillon Brooks had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks.
Stanford Robinson came off the bench to score 21 points for Rhode Island (25-10), which was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999. Jared Terrell had 15 points and E.C. Matthews added 13.
The teams traded baskets and exchanged leads over the final five minutes, swinging emotions and momentum back and forth. Robinson’s tip-in put the Rams up 72-68 with 2:20 remaining. A 3-pointer by Dorsey evened the score.
Rhode Island committed a critical turnover with just under a minute remaining and Oregon took advantage. Dorsey drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to put the Ducks up, and Matthews missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds, sending Oregon to the Sweet 16 for the third time in five years.
“We feel very fortunate to be moving on and we know how difficult Michigan will be on Thursday,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “Hopefully we’ll be ready and be able to give them a good game.”
Dorsey made 9 of 10 field-goal attempts to post his fifth consecutive 20-point game. He was 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
“My teammates have been having confidence in me and I’ve been knocking down the shots,” Dorsey said.
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley said he was pleased with his team’s effort, even if the Rams were disappointed in the outcome.
“Couldn’t be prouder, obviously, of these guys, what they’ve done for the great state of Rhode Island (and) our amazing fans,” Hurley said.
The Rams displayed more intensity while still playing with poise in the opening minutes, calmly running their offense and furiously contesting shots at the defensive end. The Ducks attacked the rim at every opportunity, but they were bothered by the size of Rhode Island’s front line.
Rhode Island outscored Oregon 6-2 over the first three minutes, but it wasn’t long before it started to look like superior talent and athleticism would win the day for the Ducks. Dylan Ennis made a 3-pointer as part of an 8-0 run that put Oregon up 14-8 and Kavell Bigby-Williams converted a three-point play to give the Ducks a 21-13 lead.
The Rams stormed back, outscoring the Ducks 24-8 over the last 6:17. They went up 37-36 on a 3-pointer by Robinson, led by six following a three-point play by Matthews and carried a 46-38 advantage into the break after Terrell sank a jumper from the right side with eight seconds remaining.
Rhode Island stretched its lead to 11 on a 3-pointer by Kuran Iverson early in the second half. The Rams led 56-45 with 13:40 to play, but the Ducks battled back to get within four on a dunk by Dorsey. Oregon cut the deficit to one on a transition basket by Jordan Bell and took a 68-66 lead on a 3-pointer by Brooks, setting the stage for a thrilling finish.
Oregon shot 48.1 percent from the field, made 7 of 16 from 3-point range and amassed a 35-28 rebounding advantage. The Ducks outscored the Rams 22-11 on second-chance points
Rhode Island shot 50.8 percent and made just 6 of 22 from beyond the arc. The Rams forced 14 turnovers and enjoyed a 21-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
NOTES: In Oregon’s first five postseason games, sophomore G Tyler Dorsey scored 21, 23, 23 24 and 27 points, surpassing his total of four 20-point games during the regular season. ... Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley said it was emotional to return to Sacramento for the first time since his brother, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, was nearly killed in a car accident during his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings in 1993. ... Rhode Island was the only Atlantic 10 team to survive the opening round after VCU and Dayton both lost.