NCAA Tournament - The Best 1st Round Game
Posted Mar 16, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview, Breakdown & Pick: West Region – No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU

- 60-Second Video Analysis On Each Team

Line: Oregon -6
Why To Pick BYU: The Cougars will battle on the boards and they won't make too many errors. An active team, it's good at coming up with steals and it gets the ball moving around well enough to keep Oregon on its toes. Offensively, the firepower is there to keep up with a Duck team that likes to run, run, run. If this game comes down to second chance points, the Cougars should win.
Why To Pick Oregon: BYU scores, and averages more points per game than Oregon, but it doesn't play a lick of defense for long stretches. The Ducks can shoot from three, and the Cougars can't, and if this comes down to free throws, it's over – Oregon is far better on the line.
The Pick: Oregon 86-78. Be really, really disappointed if this isn't the highest scoring game in the first weekend. The two teams can fill up the bucket, with defense a bit of an afterthought, but Oregon is the more talented, more explosive team inside and out.

Oregon Ducks
Head coach: Dana Altman Record: 23-9 Conference: Pac-12

What You Need To Know: If you love run-and-gun basketball, like the Oregon football team, the hoops squad plays at a breakneck pace. Dana Altman has his team pushing the tempo at every opportunity, and while the results weren't always great, the team is coming around. The Ducks feature good length and are disruptive on the defensive end, which creates easy baskets off turnovers. Houston transfer Joseph Young has been a star all year, averaging 18.6 points a game scoring inside and out. His consistency has been critical to Oregon's development down the stretch. Forward Mike Moser is a wily vet who knows all the tricks in the post, and he's a quality rebounder who also does good work in short space on the defensive end. Guards Jason Calliste and Damyean Dotson are the X-factors. When they're playing well and stay aggressive, they can be tough to contain.
Strengths: Scoring, Steals, Free Throw Shooting
Weaknesses: Field Goal Percentage Defense, Blocked Shots, Scoring D
How Far Will They Go?: The Ducks will survive the shootout with BYU only to get outgunned and outbattled by a Wisconsin team with more offense than people think. However, if somehow it's a Baylor-Oregon Elite Eight matchup, it will be epically entertaining.

BYU Cougars
Head coach: Dave Rose Record: 23-11 Conference: West Coast

What You Need To Know: The Cougars get a lot of attention, but they boast one of the best offensive teams in the country averaging 84.2 points a game. They grabbed 41.2 rebounds a night and were efficient with the basketball, handing out 15.6 assists per game. The team took at hit when it lost guard Kyle Collinsworth to a knee injury in the WCC Tournament, and BYU will have to adjust to playing without him. The good news is guard Tyler Haws is healthy, and he can take over games with his speed, quickness and creativity on the perimeter. He gets to the line and wears down opponents' frontcourt. Guard Matt Carlino will take on more of a ball-handling role with Collinsworth out, and Carlino is a nifty passer who has good quickness on defense. Forward Eric Mika provides a big body inside, but he does his best work on putbacks and scoring in transition. Junior forward Nate Austin is another factor on the glass at 6-11, 230 pounds, but he's raw offensively.
Strengths: Scoring, Assist-Turnover Ratio, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Blocked Shots, Three Point Shooting, Free Throw Shooting
How Far Will They Go?: BYU probably shouldn't be here based on the deserve and schedule factor, but it has just enough pop to make a sneaky run if it can get by in shootouts. However, it won't get by Oregon.