Two of the best women’s basketball teams in the country are playing this weekend in Oregon.
The University of Oregon is ranked No. 4 nationally, with a record of 15-2, including a perfect 10-0 in the PAC-12 Conference.
Oregon State University is right on their heels at No. 7 with a 16-2 record, and just one loss in the PAC-12, which came last weekend against Stanford.
UO and OSU are playing Friday and Sunday for in-state bragging rights in a rivalry that's only gotten more competitive and nationally relevant in the last few years.
The Oregon Ducks have been grabbing national headlines since last year when Ruthy Hebard set an NCAA record by sinking 33 consecutive field goals – going several games without a miss. Just this week, Sabrina Ionescu was called the "hottest player in college basketball" by the Wall Street Journal, as she continues to break her own NCAA record for most triple-doubles (tallying at least 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds) in a single game.
Oregon State has been a more consistent women’s basketball power in recent years, with a string of six straight appearances in the NCAA postseason tournament (Oregon has had three straight appearances). OSU is led by junior point guard Destiny Slocum and senior forward Mikayla Pivec.
Both women's teams have had their share of recent comfortable victories, including huge wins over the University of California-Berkeley last weekend – Oregon State by a margin of 81-44, UO by an overwhelming 105-55.
When the Ducks and Beavers met last season, they split the two-game series with each team winning at home. The first game this weekend is Friday in Eugene.
As the in-state rivals look ahead to their Friday-Sunday double-header, fans can also feel good about the programs' national profile for next season. The McDonald's All-America list of the best high school players in the country includes a half-dozen young women planning to come to Oregon.
Five girls selected to the McDonald’s All-America game roster of 24 have said they’re attending UO next fall – by far the most headed to any one university. The Ducks' recruits are coming from all over the country, such as Kylee Watson from New Jersey and Maddie Scherr of Kentucky. OSU has successfully recruited one of the All-American players – Sasha Goforth, a guard from Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The only player to make the McDonald’s team from an Oregon high school is not planning to go to either of the state's Top 10 basketball programs. Cameron Brink, of Beaverton’s Southridge High School, is headed to Stanford.