Top-ranked Oregon has trouble in Paradise, loses to No. 8 Louisville

The question of the season in women’s basketball was always to be Oregon and who else?

With three All-Americans back, including the reigning national player of the year, Oregon had to begin as the team to beat — especially with so many other familiar contenders in transition. But would the Ducks run away with the title? What would happen if they opened the door a crack?

Saturday, Louisville barged right through it, the No. 8-ranked Cardinals beating the top-ranked Ducks 72-62 on a neutral court at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It was Oregon’s first loss by double digits since a regional final against Notre Dame in the 2017 NCAA tournament.

The result said plenty about the Cardinals, who had to replace four starters this season and introduced two transfers and a freshman into their rotation. It said something about the Ducks, who haven’t played as well under the weight of expectations in the early going as their headline-grabbing exhibition win against Team USA might suggest of the preseason favorites.

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