Photo: Sara Yang/The Daily Gamecock

Column: Gamecocks have done enough to avoid being in Albany bracket

The South Carolina women's basketball team pulled off the upset on Sunday in the SEC Tournament Championship, beating then-undefeated Mississippi State 62-51. But many questions still remain for the Gamecocks as fans wait to see where the team will land in the NCAA Tournament bracket. 

The biggest concern for the Gamecocks has been landing in the Albany region, where UConn will be the No. 1 seed after going 32-0 and winning the American Conference. 

South Carolina is currently ranked No. 7 in the AP and USA Today polls, putting them in position to be the third best No. 2 seed and be placed in either the Kansas City or Spokane region, headed up by Baylor who won the Big 12 Tournament. 

Avoiding the UConn Huskies, who defeated the Gamecocks 83-58 on Feb. 1, would result in the easiest route for the Gamecocks to reach a second straight Final Four trip. The Texas Longhorns, who lost to Baylor in the Big 12 championship game, are in a similar spot. Texas is ranked No. 8 in both the coaches and the AP polls, as both Texas and South Carolina are 26-6.

Comparing the Gamecocks and Longhorns's nonconference schedules, South Carolina had the upper hand getting some key wins. Texas lost two close games to top-25 ranked Tennessee and UConn, dropped one to unranked TCU and lost all three contests against Baylor.

South Carolina also had some big losses, like the huge one at home to UConn and a close one against Notre Dame. The difference is the Gamecocks picked up wins against top-25 Maryland and Duke, which gives them the advantage when it comes to the bracket being released. 

Comparing the schedules, South Carolina's biggest conference loss was at Missouri, where A'ja Wilson fouled out while playing only 19 minutes. The Gamecocks beating the undefeated Bulldogs to claim their fourth straight SEC Tournament could also help their ranking.  

The selection committee is known to go by RPI, which has South Carolina at 11 and Texas at 12. Based on all of the above, it is safe to say that South Carolina has done enough to avoid being in the Albany region, but that will remain unknown until Monday when the bracket is revealed on ESPN at 7 p.m.  



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