March Madness

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: (7) Oregon vs. (10) BYU

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Oregon Ducks 23-9, 10-8

One of five teams in the Pac-12 with a 10-8 regular season record, the Ducks helped secure their 12th ticket overall and second straight to the Big Dance with a late eight-game winning streak, which included a quality win against Arizona, and by having a 43rd ranked RPI and the 57th most difficult schedule in the country. They went 8-9 against the RPI top 100 and have a top 10 offense that scored 82.3 a night. They make 7.7 threes a game at a 39 percent clip and are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country, making 77.2 percent collectively (fourth nationally). They allow 73 points a night, which ranks 270th nationally, and only outrebounded their opponents by 1.5 on average. They’re a small team that relies heavily on their guard play. In his first year with the program after transferring over from Houston, Joseph Young has made a major impact, leading the team offensively with 18.6 points a game. Fellow transfer Mike Moser, who played his freshman year at UCLA and the last two at UNLV, has gotten back to being a force on the boards, averaging eight a game to go along with his 13.5 points, which ranks second on the team. They’re one of the most foul prone teams in the tournament, committing 21 a game, something that could really cost them in the tournament. When the three ball is falling and they’re gang rebounding as a team, the Ducks can compete against the best. They can’t afford a poor effort in either area, though, especially if they’re going to match last year’s run to the Sweet 16.

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Brigham Young Cougars 23-11, 13-5

After a one year absence from the tournament the Cougars are back on the national stage for the 28th time in program history. Hailing from the West Coast Conference, the Cougars come in with second place finishes in both the regular season and conference tournament to Gonzaga of course. However, the Cougars, who played the 17th most difficult schedule in the country, do have a win against Gonzaga on their resume. They went 3-6 against the RPI top 50 overall, with their other two quality wins coming against Stanford on the road and on a neutral site against Texas. They have the third ranked offense in the country, scoring 85 on average. Junior guard Tyler Haws is one of the most lethal scorers in the country, putting up 23.4 a night, which is the sixth highest average in the country. Kyle Collinsworth, one of their top playmakers and rebounders, will be unavailable due to a torn ACL. The Cougars are not one of the better defensive teams in the field, relying heavily on their ability to outscore their opponents while allowing 77.1 a game. The Cougars will struggle when they don’t play at their tempo. There’s something special forming at BYU; there’s not a single senior on this roster. They’re going to play care free and fast in hopes of winning a tournament game for the fourth time in five years.