INDIANAPOLIS, Ore--- For the first time since 1982, the Oregon State men are elite. The Beavers beat Loyola Chicago in the Sweet 16, 65-58, on Saturday. The Beavs have gone from picked to finish dead last in the Pac 12 to the Elite Eight.
The 12-seed Beavers run continued on the strong charge from Ethan Thompson. The guard had 22 points, including some clutch free-throws with 35 seconds left in the game.
Warith Alatishe had a big game as well. Alatishe dropped 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Beavers defense against the Ramblers may be the big reason for the win. The Beavs forced a team that has been shooting lights out to shoot 33% from the field. In addition, the Ramblers only managed five three pointers of the 23 shots they took from downtown.
The Beavers did not look they had it for most of the first half. The Beavers went nearly the first 6:30 without scoring a field goal.
The Beavers' defense kept the Ramblers' offense on its toes. The Beavs kept switching from man-to-man to zone defenses. In the final 5:48 of the first half, Loyola did not score a bucket and Warith Alatishe hit one at the buzzer. The Beavers never looked back.
Oregon State will play the winner of 2-seed Houston and 10-seed Syracuse on Monday. The Beavers will have their chance to go to their first Final Four since 1963.