SAN JOSE -- After winning the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon didn't care for being handed a No. 12 seed in the Big Dance.
The Ducks sent a message in Thursday's NCAA tournament Midwest Regional opener with a convincing 68-55 win over No. 5 Oklahoma State. It was the 26th time in the last 29 years that a 12th-seed has beaten a 5th-seed.
Oregon will play Saturday against No. 4 Saint Louis, a 64-44 winner over No. 13 New Mexico State.
"That was a total team win," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I thought we beat them in every category. I'm really happy for the guys. They played really hard."
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said before and after the game that the Ducks looked nothing like a No. 12 seed.
"You have to play whoever they tell you to play and you go play it," Ford said. "I knew right away after watching them this was not your typical 12 seed."
Oregon surged ahead early with an 8-0 run in the first half to grab a 19-12 advantage. They steadily maintained that and eventually added to it to take a 37-26 lead into halftime, buoyed by a 5 of 12 performance from beyond the arc.
Oregon maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half to earn its first NCAA tournament win since reaching the Elite Eight in 2007. It was the Ducks' fourth straight postseason win after running the table in the conference tournament.
"We're in a stretch where we feel real comfortable as a team and it's showing," Oregon
The Ducks received contributions from all over and were led by Damyean Dotson's 17 points. Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds and Carlos Emory had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Artis, a former Salesian High star from Vallejo, scored 13 points in his first collegiate game in the Bay Area. Altman said it was "absolutely" the best Artis has played since missing nine games with a stress fracture in his foot.
Markel Brown paced Oklahoma State with 16 points while freshman point guard Marcus Smart, considered a top-five pick if he enters this year's NBA draft, had 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five turnovers.
According to Yahoo Sports, Smart was slated to receive x-rays after the game after feeling pain in his right wrist, the same one he broke during his junior year in high school.
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