2019.2.18.emg.mfk.wbb.UO.vs.UCLA-14.jpg

Ducks players drive towards their basket when they get possession of the ball. Oregon Ducks women’s basketball takes on UCLA at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. on February 22, 2019. (Maddie Knight/Emerald)

The 2018-19 season represented a period of historical achievement for Oregon women’s basketball. The Ducks logged a 33-5 overall record, going 16-2 in conference play. Pushed by the momentum of a successful regular season, the Ducks made a deep run in March, reaching the Final Four, where they were eventually defeated by No. 1 Baylor. 

For the second year in a row, the Ducks are projected to win the Pac-12. They’re ranked No. 1 nationally and the program is receiving an unprecedented amount of attention. 

The Ducks will open up the regular season at home against the Northeastern Huskies. They’ll go on to play two more home games against Utah State and Texas Southern before traveling to upstate New York to take on No. 21 Syracuse on Nov. 24.

Up next, the Ducks will travel to the US Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam, where they’ll take on Oklahoma State, UT Arlington and No. 7 Louisville — which reached the Sweet 16 last March. 

After returning home, the Ducks will face a solid South Dakota State team, who they defeated in the Sweet 16 of last year’s tournament. Oregon will close nonconference play with games against Long Beach State, UC Riverside and Kansas State. 

The Ducks face several strong opponents in the beginning of the season, which they hope will give them the upper hand in matchups with ranked conference opponents in No. 19 Arizona, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Oregon State and No. 12 UCLA. 

The Ducks will play their first ranked opponent in the Pac-12 on Jan. 12, when they travel to Tucson to face off with Arizona. Soon thereafter, they’ll take on Stanford, which made it to the Elite Eight last season. 

In late January, the Ducks will play a home-and-home two-game series with Oregon State. 

The next key matchup for the Ducks will fall on Feb. 3, when the Ducks travel to the East Coast to visit one of the most storied programs in women’s college basketball — Connecticut. UConn has dominated throughout the last decade, and once again has found their way into the top five, sitting at No. 3 in espnW’s preseason Top 25.

The Ducks will go on to face several more Pac-12 programs before finishing off the regular season with a home matchup against the Washington Huskies on March 1. 

The Ducks are the favorites to win it all in March, but in order to fill the shoes they’ve been given, they must last through a gauntlet of difficult opponents and show perseverance through a difficult schedule.