The South Carolina Gamecock women resume NCAA Tournament play tonight at 7 p.m., when the top-seeded squad battles the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins for a place in what would be the program’s fifth Final Four.
South Carolina (35-0), chasing a perfect season and consecutive national titles, is back in the Elite Eight for the third straight year after defensively dismantling 4-seed UCLA, 59-43. The Terps (28-6) enjoyed a dominating performance of their own in the Sweet 16, dispatching third-seeded Notre Dame 75-59 to reach this round.
This will be the second straight matchup in which the Gamecocks meet a regular-season opponent again. USC and UMD squared off in an 81-56 South Carolina victory back in November, but the Terrapins were crucially missing All-American and All-Big Ten senior guard Diamond Miller, who led all scorers with 18 points in Maryland’s win over Notre Dame — and averages 19.6 points per game since returning from the knee injury that kept her out of last fall’s contest.
Along with Miller’s firepower, the Terps’ roster features a couple more dynamic guards in Shyanne Sellers, a first-team All-Big Ten selection who averages 14 points a game, and Abby Meyers, who also averages 14.3 ppg. The battle between Maryland’s high-scoring backcourt against the post-driven, defense-minded Gamecocks will likely decide who wins this one: The Terps have a top-10 scoring offense, while South Carolina boasts the nation’s best scoring defense.
Should the Gamecocks advance over Maryland, they’d need to tangle with Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark to reach the championship game.