Who? The Lady Gamecocks of South Carolina.
Where? Columbia, South Carolina, site of the South Carolina State Museum.
When? March 23rd, in Boulder, Colorado.
Why? Good RPI, good SOS, good record, nothing egregious except maaaaaybe the Missouri loss.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? Predicted to finish seventh in the conference, they tied for fourth with Texas A&M;.
Record: 24-7 (11-5 Southeastern)
Good wins: Kentucky. Sweeping through Paradise Jam is also impressive.
Bad losses: At Missouri.
Who’s running this show? Dawn Staley, since 2008. You may have heard of her.
Extra, Extra! The State. This part of their site might require registration.
Dawn Staley’s team plays much like she did- intensely and defensively, with occasional lapses in ball control. Two things stand out to me immediately: their impressive knack for getting to the line (743 attempts) and their appalling inability to hit the shots once they get there (second to last in the country). (Granted, some of these may be intentional- why let them shoot when you can get them to the line and watch them brick?)
Sophomore guard Aleighsa Welch leads this team in scoring with 12 points per game; senior forward Ashley Bruner is second with 10 points and leads the team in rebounding with 7.9. But keep your eye on quick-handed senior guard Ieasia Walker, the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year.