COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks are officially in!
For the seventh consecutive year, Dawn Staley and her squad will compete in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. This time, the Gamecocks enter the fray as a No. 2 seed hoping to defend their throne as national champions.
"It is what it is," Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley said. "Obviously, you want to be a No. 1 seed for obvious reasons. We're not that this year, but we're going to go out and play."
The Gamecocks will face off against North Carolina A&T in the Albany region. North Carolina A&T finished with a record of 23-8 and finished No. 1 in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference.
This year marks the first time in school history that the Gamecocks enter the tournament as a No. 2 seed. As a No. 2 seed, the Gamecocks will host the first two rounds at Colonial Life Arena.
Virginia, USC head coach Dawn Staley's alma mater, is also in the Albany bracket as a No. 10 seed and will face off against South Carolina in the second round if both teams win their first-round matchups.
From there, should the Gamecocks advance, they'd travel to Albany, N.Y., for a Sweet 16 showdown. The trip to the Empire State is more than 800 miles from Columbia and the draw in this particular regional is one that Staley wasn't completely thrilled about.
"It's not in the cards to get to a region that our fans can get to," Staley said That's the only part that's disheartening on my part because the NCAA talks about putting people in the seats. We've done that. We've done that for four years and we've only been to a place which our fans can drive once. We just have to rethink, as a committee, what's important because what they tell is important is attendance and our fans, who have been the number one attending fans in the country for four years, don't get a chance to drive and support our teams in the numbers that they could have."
South Carolina will make its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history this weekend.
The first round for the Gamecocks will begin on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN 2.
Single-session tickets for the first and second rounds will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tue., March 13. General admission seating is available for $15 (adult) for the first round (both games) and $12 (adult) for the second round. Youth, University faculty/staff, and group pricing are also available.
Booklets for the entire weekend are available for $23 and include a general admission ticket for each round. Purchase ticket booklets by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS, visiting the Colonial Life Arena box office during regular business hours or going online at GamecocksOnline.com. Single-session tickets are available at TicketMaster.com.