Ducks see familiar environment, opponent in Portland

The Ducks will face South Dakota State in the Sweet 16.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 5:48 PM

Eugene, Ore. -- While their counterparts were stepping on flights around the country to head to their respective regionals, Oregon women's basketball got on a bus to head to a very familiar environment just up the road: the Moda Center in Portland. It's a pretty unique situation for the Ducks, who not only get to play in a gym they know well, but also against teams they've faced. Every team still in the Portland Regional (Arizona State, Mississippi State and South Dakota State) are teams that Oregon played in the regular season. 

The Ducks didn't lose to any of them. 

"I don't remember it happening before," says head coach Kelly Graves. "I think it's happened maybe in the final four because those top teams all play each other, but in the regional round, I think it's unusual. But being familiar with other teams, I don't if that helps or hurts either side at this point."

Oregon beat South Dakota State, 87-79, in Brookings, S.D., rebounding following their only non-conference loss to Michigan State. Since then the Jackrabbits have rattled off 18 straight wins, including an upset of no. 3 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome to make it to Portland. They'll face an Oregon team that had been looking to "get its' mojo back" following their loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament Final. 

Safe to say, double digit wins over Portland State and then Indiana were part of getting that mojo back. 

"I definitely think we got our mojo back," says junior guard Sabrina Ionescu. "Especially having two home games, shooting on our home court and just going down the road to Portland, I think we're right where we wanna be."

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