For the fourth consecutive postseason, the Oregon Ducks women's basketball team is going dancing.
The NCAA gave No. 23 Oregon (13-8) a No. 6 seed in the Alamo region, setting up a first-round matchup with No. 11 seeded South Dakota.
The game tips off at 7:00 p.m. PT on Monday, March 22nd on ESPN2.
With a win, the Ducks will have the opportunity to play the winner of No. 3 seed Georgia and No. 14 seed Drexel with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Under Kelly Graves' tenure in Eugene, the Oregon Ducks have qualified for the last three NCAA Tournaments (four if you count earning the Pac-12's automatic bid in 2019-20). In all three tournament appearances, the Ducks have gone to at least the Elite Eight (2017, 2018, 2019) and the Final Four once (2019).
Before the 2020 women's tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus, the Ducks were among the favorites to win the National Championship. All in all, the Oregon Ducks are 10-3 in NCAA Tournament games under Graves but the team had Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard for all 13 contests.
Now, four starters from last season's team are gone with five 5-star true freshmen, two highly touted posts making their college debuts (Sedona Prince and Nyara Sabally), and a sharpshooting transfer from Maryland (Taylor Mikesell) joining the team.
Here is the full bracket.
Starting point guard Te-Hina Paopao is expected to miss all of the NCAA Tournament with a right foot injury barring the Ducks making a late run.
"I don't think we're going to have her for the rest of the year," said Kelly Graves after a loss to Oregon State in the Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals.
Oregon is 0-2 without the All-Pac-12 point guard in the lineup with both losses coming to Oregon State.
The offense appeared out of sorts for large stretches in the regular-season finale with Graves starting a three-guard lineup of Taylor Chavez, Jaz Shelley, and Taylor Mikesell. Chavez and Shelley both went scoreless missing a combined five field-goal attempts while Mikesell shot 7-16 from the field. Interestingly, Kelly Graves only played Shelley 10 minutes despite her being the backup point guard for the team last season.
Then in the quarterfinals rematch against Oregon State, Graves started freshman Maddie Scherr to defend Aleah Goodman but she also did not score a point. Paopao remains the last Ducks starting point guard to score despite missing the final two games.
Graves did say he liked how Scherr played overall, especially defensively, so perhaps expect her to see more run in the NCAA Tournament.