Midwest Region Recap
by Greg Bacani
No. 7 Wake Forest 83, No. 10 Pepperdine 74
The Demon Deacons’ experience was the difference today
in their first round win over Pepperdine. Led by
seniors Craig Dawson (19 points) and Darius Songaila
(18 points), Wake Forest continued the ACC’s mastery
over the Waves as they drop to 0-12 all-time against
To their credit, Pepperdine came back twice from 13
point deficits and kept the game close throughout the
second half. Led by Devin Montgomery’s 17 points, the
Waves actually pulled ahead 52-50 on a Montgomery
layup with 14 minutes left to play.
However, in the end the Waves shot just 41% from the
field and were eventually done in at the charity
stripe, where Wake enjoyed a sizable advantage (15-19
FTs) compared to (6-8 FTs) for Pepperdine.
What a way to start the tournament for Wake Forest
head coach Skip Prosser, since it was here at Arco
Arena, where everything started for him. Prosser made
his college head coaching debut in 1993, when he was
the coach for Loyola of Maryland.
No. 2 Oregon 81, No. 15 Montana 62
Oregon overcame opening night jitters and recorded
their first NCAA tournament victory since 1960 after
beating Montana 81-62 last night.
Led by the Lukes (Ridnour and Jackson), who scored 18
points apiece, the Ducks overcame a sluggish start
and cruised into the second round where they will face
Wake Forest, the No. 7 seed, on Saturday.
Oregon was aggressive on both sides of the ball and
were rewarded for the effort. On defense they
harassed the Grizzlies into 16 turnovers and 4-16
(25%) on 3-pt attempts. O is for offense when it comes
to the Ducks and they excelled in that area as well
where they shot 24-46 (52%) from the field, including
6-12 from behind the arc.
However, the most impressive stat was free throw
attempts. Oregon went to the line 40 times, converting
on 27, compared to 15 attempts for Montana.
The Grizzlies, who were making their first tournament
appearance since 1997, were led by senior forward
Ryan Slider’s 15 points and 7 rebounds. Montana got to
within 7 points, but in the end the Ducks were too
“We were all just really excited, but that’s to be
expected,” said Jackson. We might not have played as
sharp as we’d like, but we played hard defensively,
and we stayed alive.”