SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Oregon is riding its much-debated No. 12 seed all the way to the round of 16.
Damyean Dotson scored 23 points, Carlos Emory added 14 points and the hot-shooting Ducks sprinted past fourth-seeded Saint Louis, 74-57, in the NCAA Tournament last night.
Dotson made his first five three-pointers to carry Oregon (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when it lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the regional final. The Ducks made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc; the Billikens finished 3-for-21 from long range.
Oregon will play No. 1 overall seed Louisville in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis. The Cardinals routed Colorado State, 82-56, in Lexington, Ky.
Kwamain Mitchell scored 18 points and Dwayne Evans had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Billikens (28-7), who set a school record in wins this season following the death of coach Rick Majerus in December. Instead of a storybook finish, Saint Louis lost in the round of 32 for the second straight year.
Oregon's size and speed just overwhelmed Saint Louis.
The Ducks' defense extended into a full-court press, forcing Saint Louis to play faster than it wanted. With a series of stops providing easy breakaways, Oregon's bright black-and-yellow uniforms blurred all over the court.
The open space played perfectly into what the Ducks do best: find seams and shoot. Dotson, Emory and E.J. Singler (14 points) each made a three-pointer before Johnathan Loyd capped the 25-8 run to end the half with another from the top of the arc in the final seconds, lifting his hand in the air after giving Oregon a 35-19 lead at the break.
The Billikens blitzed the Ducks in the first few minutes of the second half. Evans converted two quick layups and Mitchell made a three-pointer to slice Oregon's lead to 37-26.
The small sprinkling of blue-and-white faithful that sat behind the Saint Louis bench stood and cheered. A few brief bursts withstanding, the arena had an overwhelming Pac-12 flavor as Oregon and California -- which was facing Syracuse in the night session as part of the East bracket -- flooded the facility with fans.
The Ducks built back a 44-28 lead carried by its defense, including Loyd stealing the ball from blue-haired Cody Ellis and finishing strong with a layup on the other end. Saint Louis made a couple of late runs but never got closer than 11 points.
While the selection committee turned some heads for seeding Oregon so low, there is no doubting this team anymore. All the Ducks have done is tie for second place in the Pac-12 in the regular season, win the conference tournament and beat No. 5 seed Oklahoma State, 68-55, before sending Saint Louis home.
The Billikens lost in the round of 32 last year to No. 1 seed Michigan State after snapping a 12-year NCAA Tournament drought.