Portland Regional will be a rematch of UO's 87-79 regular-season win in Brookings, S.D.
Kelly Graves scheduled a game in Brookings, S.D., this season to make the Ducks better.
It turns out that Oregon’s 87-79 victory over South Dakota State on Dec. 10 will have his team better prepared for the Sweet 16.
The second-seeded Ducks (31-4) will play the No. 6 Jackrabbits (28-6) in the Portland Regional semifinal on Friday night at Moda Center (approximately 8:30 p.m., ESPN2).
South Dakota State upset No. 3 Syracuse 75-64 on Monday to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
Satou Sabally scored 27 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 26 points in the first meeting. Madison Guebert and Myah Selland scored 21 points each for the Jackrabbits.
"Nobody that knows basketball would be surprised at that score,” Graves said after the seventh-ranked Ducks escaped Frost Arena with the win. “There's not one coach in Division I basketball that would be surprised at that score. These guys are good, and we knew that."
Guebert scored 20 points and Selland added 17 points during the Jackrabbits’ victory over the Orange (25-9) at the Carrier Dome.
South Dakota State, which closed out the second-round win in Syracuse, N.Y., with a 16-2 run, shot 42.9 percent (9-for-21) on 3-pointers and went 12-for-15 at the free-throw line to survive and advance.
The Jackrabbits, who pushed top-ranked Baylor before losing 72-66 in nonconference play, won the Summit League regular-season and tournament titles during their current 18-game winning streak.
Oregon gets an extra day of rest and obviously has a much shorter trip to Portland after beating No. 10 Indiana 91-68 on Sunday in Eugene.
Ionescu posted her 18th career triple-double with 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Sabally continued her stellar play in March with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
“Hopefully we’re going to get a lot of fans and that’s going to help us,” senior guard Maite Cazorla said after playing her finale game at Matthew Knight Arena in front of a crowd of 6,729. “The environment was real nice. Hopefully we get the same or even better in Portland.”
The Ducks are making their third consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16. No. 1 Mississippi State and No. 5 Arizona State will play in the other regional semifinal at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Oregon defeated the Bulldogs 82-74 on Dec. 18 at Matthew Knight Arena and swept the regular-season series with the Sun Devils (77-71 in Eugene, 66-59 in Tempe) en route to the Pac-12 championship.
“We’re excited to go to Portland,” Graves said. “We didn’t talk about it too much as a team, we were really focused on taking it just one game at a time, but it’s going to be a special thing to go up there.”