KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Make way for the "Small Firs." Oregon is back in the Final Four for the first time since 1939 after a 74-60 win over top-seeded Kansas in the Midwest Regional final on Saturday night at Sprint Center. Tyler Dorsey scored 27 points and Dillon Brooks had 17 for third-seeded Oregon, which will face the winner of Sunday's South Regional final between North Carolina and Kentucky. Oregon had not reached the semifinals since the first NCAA Tournament, when they defeated Ohio State 46-33 under Howard Hobson and the "Tall Firs." This team is four inches taller per position than the 1939 team, even starting three guards without center Chris Boucher, who was lost for the season with a knee injury during the Pac-12 tournament. "I am so happy for our team, our staff, our university (because) 1939 was a long time ago," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I think everybody will be pretty excited about the opportunity to go to Phoenix and play for a national title. "We've won two four-team tournaments now, so we have an opportunity to play in another one. I know our guys will get ready." This game was played at Sprint Center, less than an hour from Allen Fieldhouse, the home of the Jayhawks, but the Ducks owned the house. "Basically, it was a road game for us," Altman said. "I look at the attendance figures, 18-6 (18,643). We had 600 and they had 18,000." Kansas, which came into the game 10th in Division I shooting 49.2 percent from the field, was out of sync all game, shooting just 35.0 percent. They were just 5 of 25 from 3-point range (25.0 percent) after averaging 41.1 percent this season, fourth best in Division I. "We shot it pretty quick," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "When things aren't going well, you've got to be patient enough and disciplined enough maybe to give them just a little bit of a chance to break down. We didn't do that on some key possessions. "If the ball goes in, it looks good. And the ball has gone in for us the entire tournament. Tonight it didn't." The second half started like the first half ended, with third-seeded Oregon on a spurt. When Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 14:38 left in the half, the Ducks led 55-37. Kansas cut the lead to six points with 2:50 left but could get no closer. In what might have been the key possession of the game, Oregon ran down the shot clock before Dorsey put up a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer. It caromed off the rim, through three Jayhawks players' hands and into the hands of Jordan Bell. "That was a critical possession," Kansas guard Frank Mason III said. "If we would have got the ball on that possession, (it would have given) us a chance to make it a one- or two-possession game. We just couldn't come up with the ball." According to Dorsey, it was a case of a "good miss." "We (were) running a play that was supposed to go down the gut to Jordan," he said. "I wasn't playing attention to the shot clock, so it was my fault. I was looking at it and I just threw up a desperation shot. I guess they didn't box out and Jordan got a big rebound." Kansas (31-5) was led by Mason with 21 points. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Josh Jackson also had 10 points. Besides Dorsey and Brooks, Oregon (33-5) received 12 points from Dylan Ennis and 11 from Bell. The tension in the game elevated quickly, as Jackson picked up his second foul of the half -- and second in 17 seconds -- with 17:23 left in the first half. "I thought the two early fouls took Josh out of the game a little bit," Altman said. Jackson came back into the game with 8:45 left but finished the half with no points and two rebounds. When he collided with Ennis with 8:03 left, the partisan crowd gasped, but Ennis was called for the foul. NOTES: Kansas was trying to reach the Final Four for the 15th time and third under Bill Self, which have moved the Jayhawks to within Duke for the fourth most in NCAA history. The Jayhawks last reached the Final Four in 2012, when they lost in the title game to Kentucky. ... Kansas C Landen Lucas is the son of former Ducks player Richard Lucas, who played at Oregon from 1988 to 1991. ... Oregon is 4-4 all time vs. Kansas, including the 2002 NCAA Midwest Regional final when Kansas won 104-86. ... Oregon coach Dana Altman previously coached at Division I Kansas State (1990-94) two hours to the west and Creighton (1994-2010) three hours to the north. ... Kansas is now (19-4) in games played away from Allen Fieldhouse, including (1-2) at Sprint Center. The Jayhawks lost in the second-round of the Big 12 tournament to TCU.
Oregon derails Kansas, lands first Final Four trip since 1939
The Sports Xchange | Mar 26