SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dominic Artis anticipated Marcus Smart's pass and took the interception the other way for a layup early to set the tone for Oregon.
Despite the seedings and the all the pregame hype surrounding Oklahoma State's star, the Ducks had the better team and the better freshman point guard Thursday night.
Artis had 13 points, four steals and helped slow down Smart while fellow freshman Damyean Dotson led the way with 17 points to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating the fifth-seeded Cowboys 68-55 in the second round Thursday.
"We wanted to be aggressive on the boards, we wanted to be aggressive defensively, and we wanted to be aggressive offensively," coach Dana Altman said. "I thought our guys did a great job of that. DA got it started off with a steal and layup early. I'm really happy for these two freshman guards. They're the future of our program and to get experience like that, it was really important."
Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to give the Ducks their first NCAA tournament win in six years.
The selection committee raised some eyebrows when Oregon was given a No. 12 seed despite tying for second place in the Pac-12 in the regular season, winning the conference tournament and going 21-4 with Artis in the lineup.
"I never felt like we needed to make a statement," forward E.J. Singler said. "We knew we had a good team. It was about getting the win and feeling good about ourselves."
• Memphis 54, St. Mary's 52: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Matthew Dellavedova's three-point shot from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary's.
The Tigers led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
With Memphis ahead 54-49, Eividas Petrulis banked in a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. The Tigers then lost the ball when the Gaels' Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of Memphis and out of bounds.
• Louisville 79, North Carolina A&T 48: In Lexington, Ky., Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals.
The Cardinals finished with 20 steals, breaking the previous tournament mark of 19.
• Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 44: In San Jose, Calif., Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points, and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed 11th-seeded New Mexico State.
• Michigan State 65, Valparaiso 54: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders.
• Colorado State 84, Missouri 72: In Lexington, Ky., Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half, and eighth-seeded Colorado State used good shooting to run away from ninth-seeded Missouri.