The #12 Oregon State Beavers entered 2021 March Madness on a heater and haven’t cooled down, moving into the Round of 32 with an impressive victory over the #4 Oklahoma State Cowboys and projected NBA lottery pick Cade Cunningham.
It’s been a wild 48 hours for the Oregon State Beavers. In the opening round of March Madness, the eager Beavers knocked off #5 Tennessee by 14 points.
In the second round, the public hammered Oklahoma State and faded Oregon State. The Beavers thrived as an underdog, or an “underbeaver,” once again with a convincing 10-point victory over the #11 ranked team in the nation.
“This has been the most emotional year in my life and probably for all of us,” said head coach Wayne Tinkle. “It’s just incredible that we have gotten to this level and we know why we have. It’s a pretty neat deal.”
Oregon State was the lone #12 seed to win their opening-round game this year. Instead of the #12 seeds garnering all the attention this year, a slew of other double-digit seeds played the role of Cinderella, including #15 Oral Roberts, #14 Abilene Christian, #13 North Texas, and #13 Ohio.
Oregon State is now +2700 odds to win the national championship, according to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
From Worst to First in Pac-12
No one had faith in Oregon State this season. The Beavers were a consensus pick to finish last in the Pac-12, but they got hot at the right time to win their first-ever Pac-12 conference tournament championship.
Oregon State was one of the numerous bubble teams heading into Selection Sunday. The Beavers won three in a row to make a run at an at-large bid, but they were crushed by their rival Oregon in the final game of the regular season. At 14-12, Oregon State would be at the mercy of the March Madness selection committee. They didn’t have to sweat their decision when they ran the table to win the Pac-12 conference tournament.
The Beavers began their hot roll when they won three games in three days to win the Pac-12, punching their ticket to March Madness. All three of those wins occurred against squads that also advanced to March Madness: UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado.
Oregon State saw their season flash before their lives with an 83-79 victory over UCLA in overtime. The Beavers erased a double-digit deficit and stormed back to force overtime. Warith Alatishe, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, stepped up for the Beavers with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Beavers enacted revenge on the Oregon Ducks in the semifinals with an 11-point win. Ethan Thompson, the heart and soul of the Beavers, led Oregon State with 16 points.
Oregon State knocked off Colorado, then ranked #23, in the conference championship in a close thriller 70-68.
The Beavers’ bench saved them in the finals by outgunning Colorado’s reserves 29-19. Maurice Calloo, a 6-foot-10 junior big man, scored a team-high 16 points off the bench for the Beavers, including three clutch 3-pointers.
Beavers Devour Tennessee and Oklahoma St.
In the first round, Oregon State was a +8.5 dog, yet the Beavers beat Tennessee by 14 points. The Vols fell behind early and couldn’t keep up with the Beavers. Oregon State’s defense shut down Tennessee’s shooters. The Vols shot 33.3% from the floor and 19.2% from 3-point range.
Roman Silva, a 7-foot-1 senior center, took a turn as Oregon State’s leading scorer with 16 points on a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor against Tennessee.
In the second round, Oregon State had to slow down Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham. Cunningham, is only a freshman, but the one-and-done superstar is expected to become the #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The future NBA star failed to intimidate the Beavers. After a slow and sluggish start, Cunningham finished with 24 points on 6-for-20 shooting.
For the second game in a row, Oregon State jumped out to a double-digit lead and their opponent chased them the rest of the game.
Ethan Thompson scored a game-high 26 points, including 15-for-16 from the free-throw line. Maurice Calloo had another great game off the bench with 15 points.
The officials took control of the game, calling 53 personal fouls in total. The zebras determined Oregon State/Oklahoma State would be decided by a free-throw shooting contest, which the Beavers won. Oregon State shot 91.4% from the charity stripe on 32-for-35, and Oklahoma State shot only 26-for-38 for 68.4%.
Oregon State’s perimeter defense caused problems once again. Oklahoma State shot just 8-for-29 from 3-point range for 27.6%. Cunningham shot only 4-for-11 from downtown.
On Deck: #8 Loyola Chicago in Sweet 16
The Sweet 16 will be fun to watch next weekend because of a stellar matchup between #8 Loyola Chicago and #12 Oregon State.
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers, the Cinderella of the 2018 Final Four, busted brackets once again this year after. On Sunday morning, Loyola Chicago stunned #1 Illinois in a game they dominated from the opening tip.
Sister Jean, the 101-year old nun and former Loyola Chicago team chaplain, will bring her luck and good graces to the Sweet 16. No word yet if Oregon State will bring their most-famous alumni, former NBA star Gary Payton, to the Sweet 16.
Oregon State is an underdog once again. The Beavers opened as a +9 dog against Loyola Chicago.