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NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament: #1 South Carolina vs. #4 Syracuse Orange Sweet 16 Preview

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Dawn Staley and the Gamecock women aim to take their next step forward in a Sweet 16 match-up with the Syracuse Orange.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight season the South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team has earned themselves a slot in the Sweet 16. As one of four SEC teams left in the 2016 field, the Gamecocks take on the fourth seeded Syracuse Orange in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Here's a little prep to get you warmed up before tip off:

#1 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #4 Syracuse Orange

When: Friday, March 25th, 7 p.m. ET

Where: Danny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

How to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN   /  How to listen: 107.5 The Game

Three Point Preview

1. Friday's matchup will be the third time in the last two seasons these two teams have faced off in what is beginning to become a non-conference rivalry between the SEC and ACC. The Gamecocks have escaped the previous two match-ups victoriously with the stakes rising each bout. The Gamecocks won twice in 2014 in an early season Bahamas tournament, and then in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

Safe to suggest there's some growing animosity between the two?

2. The South Carolina backcourt has been hot of late led by senior All-American Tiffany Mitchell. Mitchell has put on a show her last four games averaging just over 18 points per game while making nearly half of her shots from the field. She's not just producing it with gimmes either, Mitchell has lit it up from behind the arc lately, shooting 39% from three point range. The three time All-American is out to prove herself in her final post season run.

3. The Orange have been on the rise since the arrival of Head Coach Quentin Hillsman. Hillsman brings with him a press happy attack that relies on turnovers and easy transition buckets. The Gamecocks will have to limit turnovers and stay in control in order to win this one.