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Gamecocks women's basketball releases non-conference schedule; three games to watch

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Dawn Staley's team aims to get back to the Women's Final Four, but have some tough battles to fight along the way.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A day after the men's basketball team dropped their non-conference schedule, the South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team released theirs. You can check it out here, but here's a few games that you'll need to keep an eye on:

November 27: vs. Arizona State (part of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown)

The Sun Devils probably flew under the radar with most of the top teams belonging to the East Coast, but they made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2004-05 season. And they're in pretty good shape with all but one of their top scorers returning from last year. They may not be the first team you think of when you mention top teams in the country, but Arizona State looks to be trending upward.

December 6: vs. Duke

The Blue Devils shouldn't really lose a step with much of their big guns returning and the country's top recruiting class coming in. They advanced to the Sweet 16 last year behind the play of leading scorers Elizabeth Williams, Azura Stevens and Rebecca Greenwell (46.6 ppg combined last year). Williams has graduated and was taken fourth in the WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun, but Stevens and Greenwell are back, along with the remainder of their starting lineup a year ago.

February 8: vs. UConn

I really don't think that much needs to be said about the three-time defending champions, but to help those that may not follow the women's game, here's a few names to note: Geno Auriemma, arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history (men's or women's) not named John Wooden or Pat Summitt (although he's probably leaning more toward "greatest" status, period); Breanna Stewart, the defending player of the year; and Moriah Jefferson, the country's top point guard. The biggest home game in program history? Pretty much.