The Central Michigan Chippewas head to Spokane, Washington, to take on the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks finished the regular season ranked 6th in the AP poll, and 5th in the coaches. They are currently 6th in RPI rankings, according to RPIratings.com
- When: Saturday, March 24th, 6 P.M.
- Where: Spokane Arena, Spokane, Washington
- Watch: ESPN
- Stream: WatchESPN, pending cable provider participation
Central Michigan advanced to the sweet 16 by doing what they do well, which is shoot well from all 5 positions on the floor. In the first game, they were led by Tinara Moore inside, while in the second game, the Chippewas were hitting from outside, Presley Hudson and Cassie Breen combined for 9 threes.
Oregon is a high scoring team with one of the best players in the country. Sabrina Ionescu. The 5’11 sophomore is averaging 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. A complete player, she is also a huge threat from the three, hitting 44% from beyond the arch. 6’4 sophomore Ruthy Hebard is also a fantastic player, averaging 17.5 points and 8.8 rebounds. She holds the NCAA record with 33 straight field goals, and is shooting nearly 66% from the floor on the year, 3rd in the NCAA. All 5 starters average in double figures, like the Chippewas. Unlike the Chippewas, the Ducks have a solid bench, too. Odi Gildon is averaging 11 points per game off the bench in the tournament.
Central Michigan has their hands full, to be sure, but there might be a silver lining. The Ducks like to play a high zone which leaves the corners open, without much effort. That is Breen’s spot. All 5 Chippewas can hit the three, and should get their share of open looks. Defensively the Chippewas will struggle, though they should do a solid job of making Oregon earn their points. Expect a high scoring game where the better shooting team will win.