By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Dawn Staley believes her team is ready to finally push past the Sweet 16 and go deeper in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gamecocks have reached the round of 16 three times in the past four years - and saw their NCAA runs end there.
South Carolina needed to pull off a major upset three years ago to get past top-seeded Stanford in Fresno, California. A year ago, though, it was the top-seeded Gamecocks who were upended by North Carolina.
Staley and her Gamecocks have bigger goals this year, they've have their sights set on a national championship from the beginning.
To take the next step, the Gamecocks (32-2) will have to get past North Carolina (26-8) on Friday night in Greensboro.