No. 2 seed Oregon defeated No. 6 Texas, 72-70, in their Sweet 16 showdown during the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Ducks’ Luke Jackson and Luke Ridnour combined for 45 points. With the victory, UO advanced to their fourth (at the time) Elite Eight appearance all-time.
Jackson scored a game-high 25 points for the Ducks. The “future” NBA player had a career night going 10-for-17 from the field, and 8-for-11 (73 percent) inside 3-point territory. He added eight assists and six rebounds.
His teammate, Ridnour registered 20 points of his own, alongside five dimes and three stolen passes.
Fred Jones stole the show with his game-winning bucket in the final seconds of regulation, breaking a 70-70 tie. Jones finished with just four points, five assists, four boards and two stolen passes.
Oregon’s fourth Sweet 16 victory in program history was all the more impressive by beating the future NBA star, TJ Ford. The diminutive point guard was held to eight points on 3-for-10 from the field. He stole seven passes, dropped five dimes, alongside grabbing a rebound and a blocked shot.
James Thomas led the Longhorns with 15 points.
The Ducks entered the locker room at halftime up by 13 points, 41-28. Yet, Texas stormed back in the second half and actually tied the game at 70 with 10 seconds remaining.
Thankfully, Jones’ heroics kept Oregon away from five more minutes with Texas in overtime. The momentum was clearly in UT’s favor the final 20 minutes.
Oregon moved onto the Elite Eight where they promptly lost to Kansas, 104-86.
Currently, the Ducks have appeared in the Elite Eight six times. Their latest appearance was last year against No. 2 seed Oklahoma. UO wiped the floor with Duke to advance in the 2016 Sweet 16.
As we prepare to tip another NCAA Tournament run for the No. 3 seed 2017 Oregon Ducks, one would be remiss to forget where this program has come from. The Dana Altman era has brought the most success in school history. It is only a matter of time before Oregon has their breakthrough in March.