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L-S-U (18-14) at Oregon (22-9) (ET)

GAME NOTES: In one of the most anticipated matchups of the first round, the LSU Tigers will head to Matthew Knight Arena to take on the Oregon Ducks in the 75h-edition of the National Invitational Tournament.

This will be the first meeting between LSU and Oregon on the hardwood. The winner of this bout will advance to take on either Dayton or Iowa in the second round.

The sixth-seeded Tigers flirted with the NCAA Tournament before losing their last three games of the regular season to end their hopes. Coach Trent Johnson's team managed to take down Arkansas, 70-54, in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but came up short against the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Johnson has to be pleased after leading the team to its first winning season since 2009. LSU is making its sixth appearance in the NIT in history, and first since 2004. Although the Tigers were not particularly explosive on the offensive end (65.0 ppg), they made up for it by limiting opponents to 63.2 ppg.

LSU will look inside to its Second-Team All-SEC selection center Justin Hamilton once again tonight. The junior big man led the team with 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and should provide a big challenge for Oregon's center Tony Woods. Anthony Hickey, Andre Stringer, and Ralston Turner make up the Tigers' very young and talented backcourt. The trio can build some momentum going into next season with a run in the NIT.

Oregon missed the NCAA Tournament despite posting its second straight year with 20+ wins. The Ducks dropped a 63-62 decision to the eventual Pac-12 Tournament champions, Colorado, in their only postseason action thus far. Coach Dana Altman led his team to four straight wins to close out the regular season, which left it just one game behind Washington for first place. The Ducks are a very strong offensive squad, as they averaged 72.2 ppg, while knocking down 37.1 percent of their three-point field goal tries. Oregon was not able to slow down its opponents enough when it mattered though, and allowed 67.0 ppg.

The Ducks are led by Devoe Joseph. The transfer guard made an immediate impact this season since becoming eligible on Dec. 10, and has led the team with 16.6 ppg. Joseph has scored in double figures in 17 straight games and led Oregon to an 18-7 record with him in the lineup. E.J. Singler (13.2 ppg) makes a big impact as well and is the second leading scorer on the roster. Point guard Garrett Sim averaged a career-high 12.3 ppg. Sim will break the school record for games played against LSU tonight.

LSU showed it is a very tough, physical team that will not back down. The Tigers challenged Kentucky their last time out, but fell short. The Ducks have the homecourt advantage and with proven scorers, should be able to earn the win here.

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