NCAA Tournament

Rhode Island coach Hurley to get ‘Pac-12 intel’ from brother for Oregon matchup

Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley calls a play during the Rams’ game against the Creighton Bluejays in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley calls a play during the Rams’ game against the Creighton Bluejays in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. rpench@sacbee.com

Midwest Region, second round

Who: No. 3 Oregon (30-5) vs. No. 11 Rhode Island (25-9)

When: Sunday, 4:10 p.m.

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento

TV: TBS

Line: Oregon by 4.5

Three things to watch

Dillon denial: Oregon’s most explosive player is Dillon Brooks, a 6-foot-7 forward who scored 18 points every which way and muscled inside on defense in a 93-77 win over 14th-seeded Iona in a first-round game at Golden 1 on Friday. The Ducks will need more of that to combat upstart Rhode Island, which pulled the biggest upset at Golden 1 in toppling No. 6 Creighton 84-72 for its first NCAA Tournament win since 1998.

Energy efforts: Oregon had flashes of brilliance against Iona, reflective of its Elite Eight team from last season, but one day off doesn’t offer a lot of recovery time for a team that plays so frenetically. But Pacific-12 Conference teams are used to such scheduling with one day between late-week games in regular-season play. Said Ducks coach Dana Altman, “Hopefully, we saved a little bit for Sunday because we know we will have a big challenge.”

Ducks familiarity: At this point of the season, teams tap into every resource possible, and for Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley, this means some discussion with brother Bobby, the Arizona State coach familiar with the Ducks from Pac-12 encounters. Said Dan Hurley, “I’m going to lean on brother Bob for a little Pac-12 intel.”

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