The 6-seed Oregon Women’s Basketball team will take on the 11-seed South Dakota Coyotes in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament today,
here’s all you need to know about the upcoming matchup!
When: 3/22, Monday, 7:00 PM
Where: - San Antonio, Texas - Alamodome
Why: Because it’s March Madness! Duh!
THE OREGON DUCKS (13-8, 10-7):
The Ducks are still coping with the loss of four starters from last year’s dream team (Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Minyon Moore), but as they struggle to replace the guard play of Ionescu and Moore the losses of Hebard and Sabally have been mitigated thanks to Sedona Prince and Nyara Sabally, though the latter has reportedly been limited in practice alongside Taylor Chavez and Jaz Shelley.
The Oregon offense will likely flow through Prince, who led the fight in a major victory before the tournament even began. The Ducks finished PAC-12 play as the clear 5th best team in the conference, so perhaps playing a non-con team will be a welcome break for Oregon. And maybe the absence of some regular starters (including freshman guard Te-Hina Paopao, who won’t be available until at least April) will allow some of Oregon’s talented bench players to make a big impression in the Big Dance.
THE SOUTH DAKOTA COYOTES (19-5, 12-2):
The Coyotes are led by senior Hannah Sjerven who is averaging 17.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. The 6-foot-3, two-time Summit League Defensive Player of the Year excelled in their only win over a Net Top 100 team, Bradley, in which she scored 31 points. Overall, the Coyotes are 1-5 against the top 100 this season.
Senior guard Chloe Lamb is another player who could rise to the occasion and upset the Ducks as she’s averaging 16.2 points per game and is hitting .444 percent of her shots from three-point range.
South Dakota hopes to keep their undefeated record against Oregon intact, because currently the Coyotes are 1-0 against the Ducks after beating them 88 to 54 in the WNIT Semifinal in 2016.
What (to watch for): The question is will the Ducks continue their ice-cold shooting streak or can they right the ship during tournament play. Oregon enters this contest shooting just .380 percent from the floor and .314 percent from deep. It’s possible that Oregon wins this one on talent alone without fixing their shooting woes, but as long as they’re missing their shots from deep any opponent has the potential to beat these Ducks.
The Ducks will win this one ugly. The shuffle to our starting five will make an unsure group even more unsure, however, big points from Prince and Taylor Mikesell will push Oregon to victory.
Ducks 68 - Coyotes 59