If defending national champion South Carolina is to make it back to the Final Four for a second straight season, it will most likely have to do so by taking down No. 1 Connecticut in the Elite Eight.
The Gamecocks are the No. 2 seed in the Albany …
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The Gamecocks are the No. 2 seed in the Albany Regional in which the undefeated Huskies are the No. 1 seed.
USC, which is 26-6 on the season, will take on No. 15 seed North Carolina A&T at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Colonial Life Arena. The Aggies are 23-8.
The other teams that will be playing in Columbia are No. 7 California against No. 10 Virginia. California is 21-10 while UVa, the alma mater of Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, is 18-13. They will play at 5 p.m.
UConn, which is 32-0, will play No. 16 St. Francis (Pa.) (24-9) on Saturday in Storrs, Conn. The other game will have No. 8 Miami (21-10) against No. 9 Quinnipiac 37-5).
The other first-round matchups in the Albany Regional will have No. 4 Georgia (25-6) meeting No. 13 Mercer (30-2) and No. 5 Duke (22-8) taking on No. 12 Belmont (31-3) in Athens, Ga., and No. 3 Florida State (25-6) facing No. 14 Little Rock (23-9) and No. 6 South Florida (26-7) meeting No. 11 Buffalo (27-5) in Tallahassee, Fla.
UConn, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville are the No. 1 seeds.
The Huskies enter as the lone unbeaten team and will be vying for their 12th national championship. Last season, UConn came into the NCAAs as the overwhelming favorite before losing to Mississippi State in the Final Four that ended their 111-game winning streak.
South Carolina beat Mississippi State in the championship game.
This year's Final Four is in Columbus, Ohio, and will take place on March 30. The national championship game is on Sunday, April 1.
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