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Minnesota Takes on Oregon in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament

Kenisha Bell GopherSports.com

The Minnesota Golden Gophers play Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon is the No. 2 seed in the region, which is the best seed in program history. The Ducks won both the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championship. They pack a scoring punch, ranking ninth in the country in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage, and second in effective field goal percentage, sixth in the country in offensive rating, and sixth in the country in defensive rating. In other words, they are a very good basketball team.

Sabrina Ionescu leads the Ducks and she will be the player to watch. She is a first team All-American, a finalist for the Wooden Award, the Wade Trophy, the Naishmith Trophy, the Dawn Staley Award and the Lieberman Award. She is joined by Lexi Bando, the NCAA record holder in made three pointers. Satou Sabally and Ruthy Herbard are both strong post presences and great rebounders.

If all of that makes it sound like the Ducks will be difficult to beat then you have been paying attention. Minnesota has little post presence to speak of and a frequently porous defense. The primary benefit for Minnesota is that on a good day they can shoot the lights out from distance. They will need to do that early and often against Oregon. Equally important, they will have to clean the defensive glass, which they struggled with against Wisconsin Green-Bay. Oregon will score plenty on their own, giving them additional time to do so would be a stupid move.

Essentials:

Who are the Gophers playing?

Oregon Ducks (31-4)

What time are they playing?

Sunday March 18th, 9:30PM

Where are they playing?

Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is a lovely college town that I encourage everyone to visit. Matthew Knight Arena is a pretty building with a history of heinous court design.

Can I watch the game on TV?

Of course you can. This is the Tournament. ESPN2 (as long as you are in MN or WI—if not, you will need to stream it on WatchESPN.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Probably. iHeartRadio is now bankrupt, but you should still be able to get the stream.

Prediction

There is not a quality website for women’s sports to do KenPom like prediction. If there was one, it would like Oregon by at least 8 and I would agree with it.

Minnesota will have to play a perfect game and hope that Oregon plays a bad one. Stranger things have already happened this post-season.