Arsalan Kazemi…need I say more? (Screencap Via NCAA/CBS/Turner Sports)
Somewhere right now, Larry Scott is jamming out to Bob Seger.
The Pac 12 won all three of its games on the first day of the NCAA Tournament, including two 12-5 seed upsets. Granted, they were favorable match-ups in those two games, but hey, the selection committee will have to live with what they did.
Oregon scored the first win for the Pac 12 Thursday when they knocked off Oklahoma State in the second round of the Midwest region, 68-55. Four Oregon Ducks had double-digit points, led by Damyean Dotson, who scored 17. Dominic Artis scored 13 points, while Carlos Emery had 12.
It was a big night for Arsalan Kazemi, who scored 11 points and had 17 rebounds, giving him a double-double. Kazemi had a successful night despite getting stuffed by the rim on a dunk attempt during the first half.
Oregon advances to play St. Louis on Saturday.
The other 12-over-5 win came in the East region when California defeated UNLV 64-61. It was a back-and-forth game, but the Golden Bears were able to hold on late and win. This game isn’t being considered much of an upset, mainly because it was played in San Jose, which is pretty much, kinda-sorta, a home game for Cal.
California’s opponent for the third round will be none other than Syracuse, who pretty much wiped out Montana. (Well the game was still being played when I posted this, but seriously they’re up by a lot of points and it isn’t close at all.)
Finally, in the West region, Arizona knocked off Belmont, 81-64. Mark Lyons had 23 points as he was able to guide the Wildcats to the next round. Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark of Belmont had 22 and 21 points, respectively.
Arizona will advance to play Harvard, who scored a huge win against New Mexico Thursday night.
Two more Pac 12 teams will be in action Friday. Both UCLA and Colorado will be playing in Austin, Texas against opponents in B1G. Colorado plays Illinois at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET. UCLA will face Minnesota at approximately 10 p.m. ET.