Seeking a fourth straight opening round victory in the NCAA tournament, No. 10 seed BYU takes on No. 7 seed Oregon on Thursday afternoon in Milwaukee.
The West Region second-round matchup pits two of the best offenses in the country, with the Cougars ranked third at 84.2 points per game and Oregon 11th at 81.8.
The two schools faced each other in the regular season, with the Ducks coming out on top 100-96 in overtime. The win kept Oregon undefeated at the time with senior guard Jason Calliste scoring a career-high 31 points and junior guard Joseph Young poured in another 25 points.
BYU leading scorer Tyler Haws went 13-for-21 for a game-high 32 points, and junior guard Matt Carlino recorded a stellar line of 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
It was the second of four straight losses for BYU, but the squad rallied with a 15-4 flourish to end the regular season. Haws has morphed into one of the best scorers in the country , posting six games of 30 or more points, including one 48-point outburst in a triple overtime loss at Portland.
Haws enters the tournament with a four-game streak of 20-plus points, and could be BYU’s best hope to make another run to the Sweet 16 since Jimmer Fredette powered the school to the later rounds in 2011.
Oregon also had to endure a lengthy losing streak, after dropping five straight at the start of Pac-12 play. However the Ducks, led by head coach Dan Altman, rallied to finish third in the Pac-12 including a 64-57 win over first-place Arizona and double-overtime victory at UCLA.
Young leads Oregon in scoring with 18.6 points, while senior forward Mike Moser tallies 13.5 points and eight rebounds per game.
Last year the Ducks made the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual champion Louisville. It was their first deep run since 2007, when they made the Elite Eight only to fall to Florida.
BYU didn’t make last year’s tournament, but owns three straight opening round wins. In 2012, the Cougars defeated Iona by six, and then lost to Marquette by 20 points.
The winner faces either No. 2-seed Wisconsin or No. 15-seed American in the third round.
Time: 3:10 p.m. EST
TV Channel: truTV
Online Stream Info: A live online stream can be viewed at NCAA March Madness Live here.
Prediction: BYU 78, Oregon 74