OMN Sports Bracket: Winner

OSU Men’s Basketball true freshman Jarod Lucas goes up for the three-point shot that clenched the Beavers’ victory over the Utah Utes in the first round of the PAC-12 tournament on March 11, 2020. 

The Oregon State Beaver’s Men’s Basketball team never got a chance to finish their run through the PAC-12 tournament, but they didn’t need a game past their first-round match against the Utah Utes to see their fair share of postseason drama.

Oregon State’s March 11 game against the Utes was one packed wall to wall with significance for both teams. Not only was the PAC-12 up for grabs for both teams in this Round One conference tournament match, but both sides came into the game with a score to settle. After two regular-season games between the Beavers and Utes saw the two schools win one apiece, bragging rights against a conference foe were on the line as well. Both teams played like they had something to prove.

The Beavers’ rallied back against the Utes after falling down 47-33 in the early minutes of the second half, closing the gap to one point in the final seconds of the game, but still facing a 69-68 deficit that at this point would require a last-second shot to erase. Enter true freshman guard Jarod Lucas, who, with the game on the line and under two seconds left to play, pulled the trigger on an open three-point attempt and got it to fall. 

Utah still had a few seconds left on the clock, but could not manage to get a shot off with junior guard Ethan Thompson Jr and senior forward Tres Tinkle forced a turnover to officially end the game. On its own, Lucas’ three-point game-winner was a personal highlight on the guard’s young career. But the game-winning bucket came with a bit of redemption for the freshman guard, who less than a month earlier missed a three-point buzzer-beater attempt that would have given Oregon State the win against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Instead, Lucas managed to redeem himself on a bigger stage, and sent the Oregon State season out on a high note.

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