The No. 3 Oregon women’s basketball team is in a New York state of mind again.
The Ducks (3-0), who survived a thrilling 75-73 victory over No. 18 Syracuse in their home opener, will host Buffalo on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena (2 p.m., no television).
The Bulls (2-0) are coming off last season’s memorable NCAA Tournament run to the program’s first-ever Sweet 16.
Buffalo is not ranked but has received votes in the Associated Press poll in consecutive weeks for the first time.
Four players on the Naismith Trophy watch list will be on the floor.
Oregon’s top national player of the year candidate, Sabrina Ionescu, is off to a fast start with a triple-double and two double-doubles this season. The junior guard is averaging 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
Junior forward Ruthy Hebard is averaging 16.0 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds, and sophomore forward Satou Sabally is adding 12.0 points and 2.7 rebounds so far.
Senior guard Cierra Dillard, Buffalo’s preseason Naismith candidate, is averaging 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals through two games.
The Bulls unveiled a Sweet 16 banner in the rafters of Alumni Arena before an 88-61 victory over Niagara on Wednesday. Dillard scored 29 points in the team’s 79-63 loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.
The MAC coaches picked Buffalo to win the conference’s East Division, and Central Michigan to win the West Division. Oregon defeated the Chippewas 83-69 in the Sweet 16 on March 24 in Spokane.
Oregon’s two newcomers, Notre Dame transfer Erin Boley (13.7 ppg) and freshman Taylor Chavez (9.0 ppg), have added even more offensive firepower to a program coming off back-to-back Elite Eight appearances.
The Ducks entered the weekend ranked fifth nationally in field-goal percentage (53.1). Hebard has made 70 percent of her shots (14-for-20) through three games.
This will be the first meeting between Oregon and Buffalo.