COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The University of South Carolina's quest to become sweet requires taking another bite out of the Orange. USC faces Syracuse in the second round in the NCAA Tournament at home. Winner advances into the Sweet 16 in Greensboro, N.C.
Sunday's showdown is a rematch from early in the season. USC edged the Orange in a tournament game in the Bahamas, 67-63. Although Syracuse didn't win, they did manage to disrupt the Gamecocks offense. SU held USC to just 20 points in the paint, the fewest Carolina has scored in a game inside all season.
Carolina's ready to prove they can better handle Syracuse's tough zone defense.
"What they did in the Bahamas worked for them. So maybe they'll have the same type of game plan... being in a collapsing zone." head basketball coach Dawn Staley said,
Syracuse head basketball coach Quentin Hillsman added, "We'll have the same game plan. Do the same thing we did in the Bahamas. They're going to have to make shots. If you can't match up with their size and strength, you have to pack it in and make them play in front of you and not over you."
"I think we've seen other match ups like that these past couple games." star guard Tiffany Mitchell said."So I think we have a better
chance of handling that this time around."
Sophomore forward Alaina Coates' is extremely motivated to prove they can better handle the zone and win today.
"We know we didn't play our best basketball in the Bahamas against them. We're just ready for that rematch so we can prove that we are a better team now than we were then," Coates said.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. inside Colonial Life Arena.