For Oregon women’s basketball fans, it’s the G.O.A.T. vs. the Unicorn.
For WNBA fans, it’s a matchup between the top two picks in April’s draft and the favorites in the rookie of the year race.
Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally will compete against each other for the first time as opponents when Ionescu’s New York Liberty (0-1) play Sabally’s Dallas Wings (1-0) on Wednesday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
The duo, along with Chicago Sky rookie Ruthy Hebard, led the program to the Final Four and three consecutive Pac-12 championships. The "Big Three" made their professional debuts last weekend.
Ionescu, the NCAA’s all-time leader in career triple-doubles and the only member of the 2,000-points, 1,000-assists, 1,000-rebounds club, finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists during the Liberty’s 87-71 loss to the Seattle Storm on Saturday.
"I think there's a lot of expectation on me coming in and just producing the numbers I did in college," Ionescu said. "But I definitely think there's going to be a lot of down and a lot of adversity I have to face in order to get there.
Sabally also filled the stat sheet up with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Wings’ 105-95 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Sunday.
"I know a lot of people are going to want to make a rivalry out of this, but that’s not the case," Sabally said of facing Ionescu during a video conference with reporters. "We’re two great players and we are where we belong. We’re going to play hard, aggressive and going to do our best. I’m excited, though, don’t get me wrong."
Hebard had four points and two rebounds in seven minutes off the bench for the Chicago Sky (1-0) during an 88-86 victory over the Las Vegas Aces.
Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn and Instagram @rg_ducksports. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.