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Top-Seeded Gamecocks Open NCAA Tournament Action Friday
Women's Basketball  . 

Top-Seeded Gamecocks Open NCAA Tournament Action Friday

No. 1/1 South Carolina opens play in the 2024 NCAA Tournament Friday at 2 p.m., facing Presbyterian at Colonial Life Arena. The game will air on ESPN.

Fan Information

  • Due to the games being scheduled during the regular school/work day, parking around Colonial Life Arena will be extremely limited.
  • Fans can park and ride a shuttle for free from the Key Road Gravel Lot (1215 Key Road). That lot will open at 8:30 a.m. with the shuttle running from 10 a.m. until one hour after the end of the final game of the session. There will be multiple shuttles from this location, so please use the shuttle marked NCAA Tournament.
  • More ticket and fan information can be found at: the NCAA Tournament Columbia Site Central Page


The Presbyterian Series
The Gamecocks have won all three previous games against the Blue Hose. While two came in the early years of the Dawn Staley era at South Carolina, the two teams met earlier this season with the Gamecocks claiming a 99-29 victory (Dec. 16). All three games were played in Columbia.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina earned the NCAA Tournament overall No. 1 seed for the third time in as many seasons and its eighth regional No. 1 seed in the last 10 tournaments.

  • Head coach Dawn Staley has picked up every National Coach of the Year honor announced so far. She has claimed the title from at least one organization in four of the last five seasons, including each of the last three.

  • Seniors Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao have also been collecting All-America recognition this week. The addition of Paopao to the list gives Staley 11 All-Americans at South Carolina, all coming in the last 11 seasons.

  • The Gamecocks’ schedule is ranked 20th toughest in the nation with their opponents posting a .616 winning percentage.

  • South Carolina’s balance yielded four different Gamecocks being named SEC Player of the Week at least once this season – the most of any team in league history. The six total selections matched the program record for SEC Players of the Week.

  • The Gamecocks swept the SEC Regular-Season and Tournament titles for the second time in as many seasons and the sixth time in the last 10 years.

  • South Carolina averages 46.4 points in the paint on the season, accounting for 53.9 percent of its offense. The Gamecocks have scored at least half their points in the paint in 21 of their 32 games this season.

  • En route to their eighth SEC Tournament title, nine Gamecocks averaged at least 5.0 points per game and at least 15.0 minutes per game.

  • South Carolina’s top scorer in a game has come off the bench 10 times this season. Overall, the Gamecock bench is second in the nation with 33.3 points per game and has out-scored its counterparts by 20.7 points per game this season.

  • SEC All-Freshman guard MiLaysia Fulwiley became the first freshman to earn SEC Tournament MVP honors since Candace Parker in 2006. The Columbia native led the team with 14.3 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and 2.0 assists per game for the tournament.

  • All-SEC Second-Team selection Ashlyn Watkins averaged 10.6 points over the last five games, including her first career 20-point game at Arkansas.

NCAA Tournament Take
South Carolina is in its 20th NCAA Tournament and its 12th straight under head coach Dawn Staley. The Gamecocks are 44-17 overall in the event with 13 Sweet 16 appearances, seven Elite Eight seasons, five Final Four showings and two National Championships.

In her 24th season as a head coach, Staley has taken a team to the NCAA Tournament 18 times. She is 38-15 at the event, including a 36-9 mark at South Carolina.


Gamecocks Against the Field
This season, South Carolina faced 15 of the 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament field, three of which are also in the Albany 1 Region. The Gamecocks went 19-0 against those 15 teams, including an 11-0 mark against the seven other SEC teams in the field.

In addition to their seven league rivals in the field – Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt  – South Carolina played non-conference games against Notre Dame (N), Maryland, South Dakota State, at North Carolina, at Duke, Utah (N), Presbyterian and UConn.

The 15 teams include a No. 2 seed, two No. 3 seeds, a No. 5 seed, a No. 6 seed, two No. 7 seeds, two No. 8 seeds, a No. 10 seed, a No. 11 seed, a No. 12 seed and three No. 16 seeds.

Paint Production
South Carolina has long dominated the paint, and this season’s numbers have upheld that tradition, despite all the attention to the Gamecocks’ 3-point shooting. The season kicked off with 70 of the team’s 100 points against #10/10 Notre Dame (Nov. 6) coming in the paint, and a total of 21 games have seen at least half the total points scored in the paint. In their game at Tennessee (Feb. 15), a season-high 72.7 percent of points were in the paint.

With 53.9 percent of their points coming in the paint, the Gamecocks are out-scoring opponents in that space 46.4 to 23.5 (+22.9) for the season and by +21.8 points per SEC game (46.5-24.8). They are shooting 57.1 percent in the paint compared to opponents’ 38.8 percent.

Last season, South Carolina averaged 43.8 points in the paint to account for 54.6 percent of its offense.