By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina has been ranked the No. 1 team in the nation for the past 11 weeks. Finally, the undefeated Gamecocks have the chance to prove it on the court.
South Carolina (22-0) takes on two-time defending national champion Connecticut in a No. 1-vs.-No. 2 showdown that figures to go a long way to either getting those Huskies holdouts on South Carolina's bandwagon or ending the Gamecocks' record-breaking start.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley understands her team doesn't always look like the well-oiled machines put out there by Connecticut, Baylor and Notre Dame in recent seasons. She's just as convinced her team's style of gritty defense and push-the-pace play can be just as successful.
So far, she's right. And Staley expects Connecticut to be the ultimate test.