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UConn women’s basketball to open Phil Knight Legacy against Duke

The Huskies will take on Kara Lawson’s squad out in Portland this November.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball will take on the Duke Blue Devils in the opening game of the Phil Knight Legacy in Portland, Oregon on Nov. 25, the team announced on Monday. Tip-off from the Chiles Center is set for 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local time) on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Iowa and Oregon State are the other women’s team in the bracket. The championship game will take place on Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. ET in the Moda Center on ABC while the consolation game will begin at 10 a.m. ET in Veterans Memorial Coliseum earlier that same day.

The Huskies own a 12-3 record all-time against Duke and have claimed the last nine games of the series. They last faced off in the 2018 Sweet Sixteen — a 72-59 UConn victory.

The Blue Devils, led by Tennessee legend Kara Lawson, went 17-13 this past season and missed out on the NCAA Tournament. Duke opened the year on an eight game win streak and only fell to South Carolina by nine in December but collapsed down the final stretch. The Blue Devils dropped 11 of their last 17 games and were bounced by Miami in the second round of the ACC Tournament.

There’s plenty to be disappointed about with the matchups and venues. UConn and Iowa will only meet if both teams win their opening games, which means Paige Bueckers vs. Caitlin Clark part two isn’t guaranteed. While it’s still the most likely championship game, an upset would eliminate another chance for the superstars to battle.

The first round of the women’s tournament is also relegated to the 4,852-seat Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus — located 15 minutes outside the city center without any MAX Light Rail access. Meanwhile, the 19,393-seat Moda Center — home to the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers — and the 12,888-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum are located in the heart of the city and have multiple MAX lines that stop nearby.

UConn’s two games in Portland are the team’s second and third contests to have a television designation. Earlier in July, the Huskies announced their Dec. 4 Jimmy V Classic matchup at Notre Dame will air on ABC.

The 2022 Phil Knight Legacy and the 2022 Phil Knight Invitational will take place in Portland to honor Nike founder Phil Knight. In 2017, PK80 was held in the Rose City to celebrate Knight’s 80th birthday — an event both UConn basketball teams also participated in. Dan Hurley’s squad will open the Phil Knight Invitational against Oregon on Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.