Two former Oregon Ducks basketball players had big games for their respective schools in the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Marquette Eagles’ (26-9, 14-4) junior forward Jamil Wilson saw his tournament come to an end as the Eagles were bounced by Big East Conference rival Syracuse Orange (30-9, 11-7) by a final score of 55-39. Wilson, although not a starter in the game, played 28 big minutes but struggled to find his shot. Wilson went 1-of-9 from the court with three points and five rebounds.
The former Duck is in his second season with the Eagles after playing one year with the Ducks. Wilson averaged 4.7 PPG on 16.9 MPG as a freshman during the last season of the Ernie Kent era. This season Wilson saw career highs in points per game (9.9), rebounds per game (4.9) and field goal percentage (.456).
Wilson will have one more season of eligibility where he can look to improve his NBA draft stock. Wilson, the third highest scorer for the Eagles, should earn a starting spot next season and continue to improve like his last three seasons.
Wichita State Shockers’ (30-8, 12-6) senior guard Malcolm Armstead had a much more satisfying day than Wilson. Armstead saw his Shockers “shock” the nation by upsetting two seed Ohio State (29-8, 13-5) to advance to the Final Four for the second time in school history and first since 1965. It was also the first time a team from Missouri Valley Conference advanced to the final four since 1979 when a Larry Bird-led Indiana State squad made it.
Armstead went 6-of-21 (.286) from the court for 14 points and had the most field goal attempts in a game of his collegiate career. Armstead played two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to the Shockers. In his final year of college basketball, Armstead averaged 10.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.0 APG and 28.3 MPG on the year.
The Shockers, advancing to the final four in Atlanta, GA, will face the winner of the Louisville Cardinals and Duke Blue Devils. The Ducks were knocked out of the tournament by the Cardinals. He will likely try his hand at professional basketball. While he is not a projected NBA player, he could have success overseas either in Europe or another league.