National Basketball Association
Oregon 88, Utah 57
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
# Chris Rastatter, # Mike Reed, # Randall McCall
LAS VEGAS -- Oregon coach Dana Altman, whose eighth-ranked team routed No. 12 Utah 88-57 in the Pac-12 title game, said the Utes are a worthy opponent that simply ran into his hot team on Saturday night.
Make that three run-ins this season. None of them were pretty for the Utes, who entered with a nine-game winning streak. Their previous loss 76-66 at Oregon on Feb. 7. Utah also lost to the Ducks 77-59 in Salt Lake City on Jan. 14.
Oregon's three wins over Utah (26-8) this season were by an average margin of 19.7 points.
"It was just our night," said Altman, whose 28-6 team secured the Pac-12's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. "This is kind of the game that happened to us a year ago (when Arizona defeated Oregon 80-52 in the championship game) and we weren't that bad. This is not the kind of game we anticipated, but we played one of our better games."
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said most of the Utes' problems Saturday, including 20 turnovers that led to 28 points for Oregon, were like "self-inflicted gunshot wounds."
"They're a good basketball team, but you've got to be better," Krystkowiak said. "This time of year, we've got to be far better.
"I'm excited to see what tomorrow holds (when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced). Personally, I've always been a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and I like being humbled before the biggest phase of the season starts."
Oregon's balanced scoring, led by guard Tyler Dorsey's 23 points, and its defense were too much the Utes.
Utah center Jakob Poeltl was Utah's only double-figures scorer with 13 points as the Utes shot 43.2 percent from the field and committed their abundance of turnovers against Oregon's 2-3 zone and constant three-quarters court press.
"It was our best effort of the season and we played as well together as we have all year," said Oregon forward Elgin Cook, who was selected the tournament's most outstanding player after finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Oregon, which shot 51.6 percent from the field, featured the scoring of Dorsey, Cook, guard Dillon Brooks (18 points) and forwards Chris Boucher (15). Boucher and Brooks combined to make 7 of 11 shots from 3-point range as the Ducks made 11 of 22 overall from beyond the arc.
Oregon also won the rebounding battle 36-25, with Dorsey leading the team with nine. The Ducks outscored the Utes 34-22 in points in the paint, 23-6 in second-chance points and 28-9 in points off turnovers.
The Ducks built their lead in the first half to 31-16 with 3:27 left on a layup by Dorsey, capping their game-changing 16-3 run.
Oregon went to the locker room leading 38-21, forcing Utah into 13 turnovers in the half. Oregon outscored Utah 19-4 off turnovers.
"I thought our ball movement tonight was really good and we made plays for each other," Altman said. "Our guys are playing well together and that's important for any team, especially at this time of year."
Krystkowiak and Altman avoided addressing questions about Oregon being deserving a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
"Wherever they set us up, wherever they match us up, we’re just going to have to play," Altman said.
Krystkowiak added, "That's not part of my job description seeding teams. I know I wouldn't want to play them."
NOTES: Oregon's 28-6 record entering the game is the program's best after 35 games in 77 years. The 1938-39 Oregon team, known as the Tall Firs, was 29-5 on its way to the first NCAA championship. ... Jakob Poeltl is one of the five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award, given to the best center in the nation. ... The Utes' nine-game winning streak entering Saturday was the longest for the program since the 2008-09 season. ... Chris Boucher, who has 106 blocked shots and 36 3-pointers, is the first player in Pac-12 history to have at least 100 blocks and 30 3-pointers in the same season.
Top Game Performances
Jakob Poeltl 13
Tyler Dorsey 23
Jordan Loveridge 3
Elgin Cook 6
Kyle Kuzma 5
Tyler Dorsey 9
Jakob Poeltl 5
||Free Throws Made
Tyler Dorsey 4
Brandon Taylor 2
Jordan Bell 3
Jakob Poeltl 3
Jordan Bell 3
Team Stats Summary