KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- For the first time in the history of the NCAA tournament, a second consecutive Sweet 16 will take place without the program that helped make March matter.
And for the first time ever, a span of 58 games, Tennessee exited on its home court.
One of the sport's most recent success stories was a fitting team to end both runs.
Down double digits early, No. 6 seed Oregon State rallied for a 66-59 win against third-seeded Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. The Lady Vols exit in the second round for the second year in a row, while the Beavers advance to the Sweet 16 for the third season in a row and their third time in program history.
Sophomore Mikayla Pivec led Oregon State with 18 points, while All-American center Marie Gulich totaled 14 points and 12 rebounds. In her final game for Tennessee, Mercedes Russell led the Lady Vols with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Only Chamique Holdsclaw had more double-doubles at Tennessee.
More to come from Knoxville, but here is how it looked at the final buzzer.
Player of the game: She didn't have the biggest line in the box score, but Oregon State wouldn't have won this game without Katie McWilliams. Playing every minute, the junior guard finished with 12 points and six assists. She was steady in handling the ball against Tennessee's pressure and patient getting Oregon State through its offense.
How it was won: Oregon State committed six turnovers and scored just nine points in the first quarter. It committed just seven turnovers the rest of the way. On a day when they dug themselves a big hole and didn't hit many 3-pointers, typically a big part of their arsenal, the Beavers got back into the game and eventually earned the win by acclimating to Tennessee's defensive pressure and valuing possession.
That has a lot to do with the backcourt of Aleah Goodman, McWilliams, Pivec and Kat Tudor. When Oregon State made a 13-2 run in the second quarter to erase the early double-digit deficit, much of it came with Gulich on the bench in foul trouble. Despite no real post scoring threat to replace her, Oregon State's guards continued to run the pick-and-roll or pick-and-flare sets they always run with such precision. No matter the history of the opponent, the defensive pressure or the early deficit, the backcourt never panicked.
Stat of the game: Along with Notre Dame, Tennessee was one of only two teams that Oregon State coach Scott Rueck had faced multiple times without a win. Now it's only the Fighting Irish. That list obviously doesn't encompass every basketball power, but it's a good sign of how far Oregon State has come from arguably the worst program in Division I when he arrived.
What's next: The academic calendar says it's finals week for the winter term at Oregon State, but the basketball team has an appointment in Lexington, Kentucky. The Beavers will await the winner of Sunday's second-round game between No. 2 Baylor and No. 7 Michigan. Oregon State defeated Baylor in a regional final in 2016 to reach its first Final Four. If Stanford also advances, Lexington would host two Pac-12 teams for the second time in three years.
That matchup would also put Oregon State's 6-foot-5 Gulich in the unusual position of giving away size for a second game in a row, this time against Baylor's 6-foot-7 Kalani Brown.