Tyler Dorsey hits two late 3’s to send Oregon to the Sweet 16
SACRAMENTO — Tyler Dorsey is Mr. March.
March Madness is all about the late-game drama and there was plenty of it for Oregon. In this case, Dorsey came to the rescue in the Ducks’ nail-biting 75-72 win over Rhode Island in the NCAA Tournament by hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the game. After missing two late free throws, Dorsey knocked down a game-tying triple and followed it up with the winner.
“It was one of those plays where I just made a basketball play,” Dorsey said. “I got the mismatch I like and I work on that hesitation three pull-up a lot, all the time in the gym. I put a lot of hours on that shot. It went in, his hands didn’t go up and I let it fly.”
The game-tying shot in front of the Oregon bench came from a Jordan Bell rebound but the shot that will be remembered for years to come will certainly be the game-winner.
“The other one right in front of the bench, I was, you know, I said, ‘hit it, buddy,’” Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. “The [game-winner], I saw his feet were right and the guy’s hands were right and I was yelling at him to shoot it because I thought it was the right play.”
Dorsey led Oregon with a 23-point game in the Ducks’ NCAA Tournament opener against Iona on Friday, and the Los Angeles native kept his momentum going against the Rams.
“My coach and teammates are confident in me, and Coach put the ball in my hand at the end of the game and I just made the right basketball play,” Dorsey said. “That’s all I did.”
Dillon Brooks has been the main man to take the potential game-winning shot for Oregon as he’s done multiple times this season. Instead, Dorsey stepped up.
“A lot of games we were down,” Brooks said. “All these guys have heart and belief and faith and we were ready from the jump.”
Not only was Dorsey hitting clutch shots, he was also putting in work in the paint with five rebounds and even notched three assists.
“He did a lot,” Brooks said. “He was grabbing boards, he was attacking the rim, he was doing a lot out there. He hit that final shot, it doesn’t have to be me hitting that final shot.
“We’ve got a lot of guys out there that want to take that shot and are confident and guys didn’t want to go home.”
Payton Pritchard is one of the players who is confident in big games, but the freshman had a quiet night at Golden 1 Center.
“I believed in Tyler,” Pritchard said. “He had a bigger guy on him, we work on one-on-ones every day in practice. He squared him up and got the job done.”
Dorsey could only flash a wide smile when he was asked about his new nickname — Mr. March.
“I guess I’ve got to go with the name,” Dorsey said.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow