PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jermaine Couisnard scored a career-high 40 points to haunt South Carolina — his former school — while leading Oregon to an 87-73 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Region on Thursday.

Couisnard, who spent three years at South Carolina before transferring in part because of a coaching change following the 2022 season, made five 3-pointers and went 14 of 22 from the field to pace the 11th-seeded Ducks (24-11).

Oregon advanced to the second round to face No. 3 seed Creighton, a 77-60 winner over No. 14 seed Akron in the first of four games at PPG Paints Arena.

The Creighton-Oregon matchup will have a family feel, as it will reunite Ducks coach Dana Altman and Creighton, where he spent 16 years and built the Nebraska school into one of the nation’s best mid-major programs.

Altman has done OK for himself while coaching out West as well. The Ducks improved to 8-0 in first-round NCAA Tournament games under him.

Oregon center N’Faly Dante added 23 points, some of them coming on some backboard-shaking dunks.

The sixth-seeded Gamecocks (26-8) had too many offensive droughts to keep up with the Ducks, who beat top-seeded Arizona last week on the way to a surprising Pac-12 tourney title.

However, South Carolina did provide this tournament’s first viral moment, as guard Ta’Lon Cooper dropped a shot from beyond half court as the halftime horn sounded.

While that shot was memorable, Couisnard’s were more meaningful.

With Oregon leading by nine points early in the second half, Couisnard hit consecutive 3-pointers. Following his second long-range make, the native of East Chicago, Indiana, yelled toward the green-and-gold-clad Oregon fans sitting nearby and they screamed back at him.

Whenever South Carolina made a push in the second half, Oregon had an answer and it was either Couisnard or the 6-foot-11 Dante, who made 70% of his shots this season.

Meechie Johnson scored 24 and Cooper 15 for the Gamecocks, who made a major turnaround in coach Lamont Paris’ second season after winning just 11 games last season.

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