After a whirlwind trip across the country over the last 72 hours, South Dakota State is back to work today at the Moda Center, working to keep their historic season alive.
"I think we're all kind of running on excitement and adrenaline at this point. But we're so excited to be here, staying focused and locked in in every practice, every shootaround. We're staying really focused," says Jacks junior Tagyn Larson.
Unlike last week in Syracuse, the Jackrabbits are familiar with their opponent. Facing Oregon at Frost Arena 106 days ago.
But both teams know a lot has changed since December 12th.
"You go back and watch that film, after four or five minutes of watching it, we're not even the same team. Then after watching them, I thought they're not the same team either," says Jacks head coach Aaron Johnston.
"Yeah, since that game I think we've grown in a lot of areas. Our defense has gotten better, our offense has became more efficient. It's going to be fun to be able to play South Dakota State again and see all the changes we can make and how well we do," says Oregon junior Ruthy Hebard.
Since falling to the Ducks 87-to-79, the Jackrabbits have gone 22-and-2 and say they're able to rely more on the entire roster.
"We've really had a lot of, yeah, especially the younger players stepping up into bigger roles for us. We've just been trying to instill that confidence in them to make those big shots because we know that they can," says Jacks junior Madi Guebert.
The Jackrabbits also proving since then that they can handle a true road environment, something they will have do again as the Ducks are expecting to bring more than 10,000 fans to Portland.
"There's going to be a lot of people there. Even if they're for Portland, it will bring a lot of energy into the arena. We'll have a lot of Jackrabbit fans here. A lot of fans on the plane, parents flew out. I think the energy will be great in there," says Larson.