SEATTLE (AP) — When it comes to the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, South Carolina is the new kid on the block.
The Gamecocks (27-4) earned a top seed for the first time in school history after winning the Southeastern Conference regular season championship. While fellow top seeds Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame have proven to be perennial national powers, South Carolina is on the rise under head coach Dawn Staley.
After losing just twice over the first four months of the season, South Carolina lost two of their final three games entering the tournament. The Gamecocks lost 73-61 at Tennessee to close the regular season and fell 68-58 to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament.
The losses ultimately didn't derail South Carolina's hopes of earning a No. 1 seed.
The Gamecocks will play No. 16 seed Cal State Northridge in the first round on Sunday. No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee State will face No. 9 seed Oregon State in the other game in the Seattle regional.