Kansas falls to Oregon in Elite Eight, 74-60
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas basketball lost to No. 3 seed and ninth-ranked Oregon, 74-60, in the NCAA Championship Midwest Regional Final on Saturday at Sprint Center.
In his final game as a Jayhawk, Frank Mason III – likely the consensus National Player of the Year – reached 20 points for the seventh-straight game with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes.
The Jayhawks (31-5) close the book of a memorable season on a sour note after shooting 35 percent from the field and coming up empty from long range in the second half – shooting 1-for-15 from 3-point range.
During the 2016-17 season, KU reached 30 wins and advanced to the Elite Eight for the second-straight season, tied an NCAA record with its 13th-straight conference regular season title, and set and NCAA record with its 28th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Frank Mason III
Oregon (33-5) advances to its first Final Four since 1939 after shooting 51 percent from the field and staving off KU’s rally with 11 3-pointers. Tyler Dorsey made six of Oregon’s 11 treys to finish with 27 points, while Jordan Bell scored 11 points with eight blocks.
Kansas entered the Elite Eight averaging 96.0 points per game during the tournament, but that torrid pace was slowed early against the Ducks. Not even three minutes into the contest, freshman Josh Jackson recorded two personal fouls and was promptly replaced on the floor by sophomore Lagerald Vick, who scored KU’s first points of the night on a 3-pointer.
Oregon began to heat up from beyond the arc early the game and continued that pace throughout. The Ducks jumped out a 12-5 lead following Dorsey’s first pair of treys on the night.
Kansas began to rally when Oregon native and senior Landen Lucas picked up an offensive rebound and flushed it in for a dunk, tying the game at 12. But the Ducks went on to make nine of its next 10 shots to extend its lead to 31-26 with 5:04 remaining in the first half.
Mason scored a string of 15-straight points for Kansas down the stretch of the first half to keep Kansas within striking distance, but Oregon ended the first half on a 8-0 run.
After back-to-back 3-pointers by Dorsey, the Ducks went into halftime with a 44-33 lead. Kansas notably came back from double-figure deficits in six victories this season, but Oregon’s 11-point halftime lead was KU’s largest halftime deficit of the season. Mason scored 17 points in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting.
The Jayhawks cut their largest deficit of 18 points to six points when junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drained a 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining. With Oregon playing a zone defense, Jackson made a dribble-drive to draw the defense in and kicked it out to an open Mykhailiuk in the corner for a 3-pointer to bring Kansas within six, 66-60.
But that would be the closest KU would get as Oregon would again finish a half on an 8-0 run before the final buzzer sounded.
Mason and Jackson were named the NCAA Championship All-Midwest Region team after the game. In four NCAA Tournament games, Mason averaged 22.3 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 90 percent from the free throw line; Jackson averaged 16.3 points on 53 percent shooting from the field with 8.5 boards per contest.
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