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#12 Ducks upset #5 Wisconsin, 72-54, in the first round of the NCAA tournament with second-half surge

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Oregon vs Wisconsin
Oregon Ducks guard Payton Pritchard reacts with teammates in the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon wins ninth-straight beating #5 seed Wisconsin Badgers in the first round of the NCAA tournament led by Pac-12 championship Most Outstanding Player, Payton Pritchard.

Little Payton Pritchard, as Bill Walton likes to call him, came up big in Oregon’s first round game against Wisconsin. Pritchard was dominant in the first half orchestrating the Ducks’ offense with 12 points and 3 assists on 5-13 shooting from the field. Oregon led most of the first half eventually pushing their lead to seven as Pritchard split the defense at the top of the key and hit the and-one layup on Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ for the lead, 18-11.

The Badgers did make a comeback and took the lead back with 7:44 remaining in the first as guard D’Mitrik Trice knocks down a three to give Wisconsin a one-point edge, 19-18. Oregon and Wisconsin went back and forth trading shots till the end of the first half. The Badgers tied up the game for the fourth time on a Khalil Iverson statement jam under the hoop with 3.3 on the clock and heading into halftime at 25-25 a piece.

Oregon got hot in the second half. Pritchard was at the forefront of the Ducks’ scoring in the first half, but in the second he became more of a facilitator allowing forwards Paul White and Louis King to take over. Oregon, led by White with 14 points in the second half, shot 17-24 FG (70.8%) and 5-6 3PT (83.3%). White shot 5-5 from the field, while King and Pritchard both went 3-5, and Kenny Wooten a modest 3-4.

Wooten anchored the defense in the second half with 3 blocks forcing Wisconsin to rely on the three, and struggling to do so only hitting 4-19. The Ducks continued to play strong on both ends of the court exemplified by Wooten’s sequence blocking Happ’s floater and finishing a ferocious alley-oop for two on the other end, giving the ducks a nine-point lead. They continued keep Wisconsin out of the paint limiting them to poor three attempts in the second half, helping them take another 20-7 run to the final buzzer for a 72-54 final.

Oregon

*Payton Pritchard: (35 MIN) 19 PTS / 5 REB / 8 AST / 7 TO 8-18 FG / 2-6 3PT

*Kenny Wooten: (33 MIN) 9 PTS / 6 REB / 1 AST / 4 BLK 4-5 FG

*Louis King: (36 MIN) 17 PTS / 4 REB / 0 AST / 3 STL 5-11 FG / 2-5 3PT

*Paul White: (39 MIN) 14 PTS / 4 REB / 1 AST / 2 STL 5-7 FG / 2-4 3PT

*Francis Okoro: (12 MIN) 4 PTS / 2 REB / 0 AST 2-2 FG

Will Richardson: (27 MIN) 7 PTS / 5 REB / 2 AST 2-2 FG

Victor Bailey Jr.: (4 MIN) 2 PTS / 1 REB / 0 AST 1-3 FG / 0-1 3PT

Miles Norris: (1 MIN) 0 PTS / 0 REB / 0 AST 0-0 FG

Ehab Amin: (13 MIN) 0 PTS / 4 REB / 0 AST 0-4 FG / 0-1 3PT

Wisconsin

*Ethan Happ: (33 MIN) 12 PTS / 8 REB / 0 AST 5-10 FG

*Nate Reuvers: (17 MIN) 9 PTS / 5 REB / 1 AST 3-10 FG / 2-4 3PT

*Brad Davison: (33 MIN) 4 PTS / 3 REB / 1 AST 0-8 FG / 0-7 3PT

*Khalil Iverson: (32 MIN) 12 PTS / 5 REB / 1 AST 5-8 FG / 1-1 3PT

*D’Mitric Trice : (30 MIN) 8 PTS / 3 REB / 5 AST 3-12 FG / 2-10 3PT

Charles Thomas IV: (1 MIN) 2 PTS / 1 REB / 0 AST 1-1 FG

Aleem Ford: (17 MIN) 2 PTS / 2 REB / 0 AST 1-3 FG / 0-2

Walt McGrory: (0 MIN) 3 PTS / 0 REB / 0 AST 1-1 FG / 1-1 3PT

Kobe King: (20 MIN) 2 PTS / 4 REB / 1 AST 1-4 FG / 0-2 3PT

Brevin Pritzl: (17 MIN) 0 PTS / 1 REB / 0 AST 0-0 FG / 0-3 3PT

Next up:

UC Irvine Anteaters

Follow Colt Johnson on Twitter @Barefoot_Sensei