Oregon State's dream NCAA tourney run ends in crushing loss

Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle, center, talks to his players during a timeout in the first half of an Elite Eight game against Houston at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, March 29. Tinkle's contract was extended through 2026-27.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State wasted little time recognizing and rewarding coach Wayne Tinkle for his team’s run to the Elite Eight.

The school announced Monday a four-year contract extension for Tinkle that takes him through the 2026-27 season. Tinkle was awarded a three-year extension and received an additional year for making this year’s NCAA tournament.

“We truly appreciate the belief and support from the administration,” said Tinkle, who just wrapped up his seventh season at OSU. “(Oregon State athletic director) Scott (Barnes) has put a lot of time and effort into making this happen. My family and I are so thankful for our opportunity with Oregon State. We want to thank Beaver Nation for all of their love and support as well. We’re looking forward to continuing with the success that’s been built here at OSU.”

A 5 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon State won three games in three days as an underdog to claim the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA tournament and the program’s first-ever conference tournament championship.

The Beavers (20-13) then defeated Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Loyola Chicago in Indianapolis to reach the NCAA Midwest Region final, where they lost to Houston.

It’s the first time Oregon State won an NCAA tournament game and advanced to the Elite Eight since 1982. The Beavers’ three wins in the NCAA tournament tied the 1963 Final Four team for the most victories in a season by an Oregon State team.

Oregon State won 20 games for just the second time since 1990. The other came in the 2011-12, when the Beavers reached 21 wins after getting two victories in the College Basketball Invitational.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on this extension to keep Coach Tinkle at the helm of the Oregon State men’s basketball program,” Barnes said. “We are very proud of the work he has done to rebuild this program. He has done it the right way both on and off the court, and we are excited for continued success.”

This year marked the fifth winning season for the Beavers under Tinkle. His OSU record is 113-109 overall and 52-76 in Pac-12 play.

Oregon State had two winning seasons in the 24 years prior to Tinkle’s hiring. He also took the Beavers to the NCAA tournament in 2016; Oregon State’s previous trip to the Big Dance came in 1990.

It’s also been an unprecedented time for the program in the classroom during Tinkle’s tenure. During his seven years in Corvallis, 20 men’s basketball players have received Pac-12 All-Academic honors; 24 players received all-academic recognition in the previous 27 years.

Tinkle signed a six-year contract when he was hired on May 19, 2014, after eight successful seasons at the University of Montana, where he also played. He was awarded a two-year extension on June 7, 2016, following the program’s first trip to the NCAA tournament in 26 years. He received a one-year extension on Oct. 8, 2019.

Jesse Sowa can be reached via email at jesse.sowa@lee.net or on Twitter, @JesseSowaGT.

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