March 16, 2003
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee announced Sunday afternoon that the 16th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks will head to University Park, Pennsylvania, to participate in the 2003 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The Gamecocks (22-7) are the fifth seed in the Mideast Region and will open up its postseason run with a Sunday first-round matchup against Southern Conference champion Chattanooga, who received the 12th seed. The site host, Penn State received a four-seed and will begin play against Patriot League Champion Holy Cross (#13 seed). Game times have not been announced.
After the Selection Show, Assistant Coach Linda Hill-MacDonald had the following thoughts about the Gamecocks advancing to a second straight NCAA Tournament (Head Coach Susan Walvius was unavailable due to a recruiting trip):
“It is very exciting for the team to return to the NCAA Tournament this year after advancing to the Elite Eight last season,” said MacDonald. “This year will be a little different for our team in that we were here last year. With the exception of three players, our team all experienced the excitement of receiving a bid for the NCAA Tournament last year and learned from that experience. The players have now gone through the approach of being in the NCAA Tournament and how to prepare.Today, we’ve learned where we’re going and who we are going to play which will give us an opponent to begin practicing for.”
South Carolina will be making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance overall, as USC is 7-7 in those eight appearances.
The Gamecocks return to the NCAA Tournament this year after making its first appearance in 11 years in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Last season, USC earned the number three seed in the East Region, advancing to an East Regional Final battle against Duke for the rights to go to the Final Four. It was the first Elite Eight appearance by a Gamecock women’s basketball team.
The Gamecocks and Chattanooga have never met before.