Oregon 72, Texas 70
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Texas held Oregon’s Freddie Jones in check until the game was on the line.
Jones’ layup with 2.8 seconds left Friday _ just his second basket of the night _ lifted the second-seeded Ducks to a 72-70 victory over the Longhorns, who had trailed by as many as 13.
The senior guard, a key component of Oregon’s three-pronged offense, had just two points on 1-of-5 shooting until the final seconds. But dribbling the ball just inside halfcourt as time wound down, he waited until there was space in the lane before driving for the winning shot to put Oregon in the Midwest Regional final.
Texas freshman guard T.J. Ford’s running jumper bounced off the rim at the buzzer as time expired.
The Ducks (26-8), who hadn’t won twice in the same NCAA tournament since capturing the 1939 title, will next meet the winner of the game between Illinois and Kansas.
Texas (22-12) was down 41-28 at halftime, but the Longhorns used a 13-0 run _ highlighted by Brian Boddicker’s three 3-pointers _ to pull even at 51 with a little more than 12 minutes to play.
That sent the game into a back-and-forth struggle that lasted until the final seconds.
Still, for every Texas run, the Lukes _ as in Luke Jackson and Luke Ridnour _ seemed to have an answer.
Jackson led the Ducks with 25 points, and Ridnour added 20, carrying the team for stretches while Jones, who had been averaging 18.6 points, struggled.
James Thomas led Texas with 15 points, including an inside basket that tied the game at 70 with 23.2 seconds left. Boddicker scored 13.
Ford, playing with series of injuries that include an ankle sprain and a tender groin, had just four points and five assists. He was averaging a nation-leading 8.4 assists.
Texas opened the game 0-for-6 from the field and committed 12 first-half turnovers.
Yet every time Oregon started to pull away, the Longhorns were able to scrape back into the game.
Until the end of the first half, that is.
Texas cut the lead to 33-28 with about 2 minutes left before the Ducks went on an 8-0 run to end the half. It began with Ridnour’s 3-pointer and ended with Jackson’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer for that 13-point advantage.
Jones missed the only shot he took in the first half.