The defending Pac-12 champions will appear on ESPN2 three times during the regular season
The full Pac-12 women’s basketball schedule was released Thursday with the announcement that four regular-season games will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Oregon will be featured in three of the conference’s nationally-televised games — vs. Mississippi State (Dec. 18), at Stanford (Feb. 10) and at Oregon State (Feb. 18).
The Ducks, coming off a school record 33-win campaign and back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, open conference play against Washington on Jan. 4 at Matthew Knight Arena.
In the unbalanced Pac-12 schedule, the defending conference regular-season and postseason champions will not host California or Stanford in Eugene and will not travel to play Colorado or Utah in the altitude.
This year’s Pac-12 tournament is March 7-10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“The biggest challenge is coming externally,” said coach Kelly Graves, whose team will almost certainly be picked by his peers to win the Pac-12 at next week’s media day event in San Francisco. “I think the expectations that people have for us, I think we’re anywhere from two to four (nationally) on pretty much all the preseason prognostications in the country.
“I don’t want my team to feel that kind of pressure. We always put pressure on ourselves to be the very best we can be, and that’s all we can do, that’s all we can control.”
Highlighting the home conference slate are visits from Civil War rival Oregon State (Feb. 15) and a rematch of last year’s overtime classic with UCLA (Feb. 22).
The Ducks, who return four starters from last season, began practicing Monday for the 2018-19 opener Nov. 6 at Alaska Fairbanks, a homecoming game for star forward Ruthy Hebard. The first home game is Nov. 10 vs. Syracuse.
Oregon had sold around 3,000 season tickets before the full schedule was released.
“Incredible,” Graves said of the growing support for a program now viewed as a national championship contender. “I know part of it is because we have a good product, part of it is I know the school is putting an emphasis on it. It’s been so cool to see the fans come back because I know this once was the spot to be.”
2018-19 Oregon Ducks women’s basketball schedule
Nov. 6 at Alaska Fairbanks (8 p.m., no TV)
Nov. 10 SYRACUSE (2 p.m., No TV)
Nov. 14 at Utah State (6 p.m., no TV)
Nov. 18 BUFFALO (2 p.m., no TV)
Nov. 23 UC Riverside* (noon, no TV)
Nov. 24 at Saint Mary’s (2 p.m., no TV)
Dec. 2 LONG BEACH STATE (2 p.m., no TV)
Dec. 9 at Michigan State (noon, ESPN2)
Dec. 12 at South Dakota State (5 p.m., no TV)
Dec. 18 MISSISSIPPI (7 p.m., ESPN2)
Dec. 20 AIR FORCE (11 a.m., no TV)
Dec. 21 UC IRVINE (noon, no TV)
Dec. 30 CONCORDIA** (2 p.m., no TV)
Jan. 4 WASHINGTON (6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 6 WASHINGTON STATE (3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 11 at USC (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 13 at UCLA (2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 18 ARIZONA STATE (6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 20 ARIZONA (noon, Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 25 at Washington State (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Jan. 27 at Washington (2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Feb. 1 UTAH (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Feb. 3 COLORADO (noon, no TV)
Feb. 8 at CALIFORNIA (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Feb. 10 at Stanford (1 p.m., ESPN2)
Feb. 15 OREGON STATE (6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Feb. 18 at Oregon State (6 p.m., ESPN2)
Feb. 22 UCLA (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
Feb. 24 USC (11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks)
March 1 at Arizona (7 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)
March 3 at Arizona State (noon, Pac-12 Networks)
March 7-10 Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas
*At Saint Mary’s tournament