Unbeaten Gamecocks, Virginia Tech Headed To Women’s Final Four
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- It's rare that a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2 seeds in the NCAA tournament has a David and Goliath feel. But what we've seen from the unbeaten South Carolina women's basketball team this season is pretty rare, too.
This is a squad with a 6-foot-7 center in Kamilla Cardoso who can miss a shot and then have a 6-5 All-American in Aliyah Boston there for the putback basket. Most teams would be beyond thrilled to have even one of them. The defending national champion Gamecocks have both, and that's just part of their relentless lineup.
Maryland was the latest to experience this as the Gamecocks won 86-75 on Monday night in the Greenville 1 Regional final at South Carolina's home away from home in Bon Secours Wellness Arena. It's about 103 miles to the Gamecocks' Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, but the loud presence of thousands of South Carolina fans here made the two buildings pretty much indistinguishable over the past few days.
South Carolina won the SEC tournament in the Greenville arena on March 5, and 22 days later, it took the NCAA regional title here to advance to its third consecutive women's Final Four and fifth overall.
The Gamecocks (36-0) remain on a path to becoming the 10th team -- and fifth program -- to finish unbeaten in the NCAA era, which began for women's sports in the 1981-82 school year. UConn has had a perfect season six times, and Texas, Tennessee, and Baylor have each done it once.
Virginia Tech vs Ohio State
Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks stood at the top of the ladder about to trim the final strands from the net when the familiar thumping beat started blaring through the speakers of the arena.
The Hokies’ first Final Four berth deserved a little Metallica and a little “Enter Sandman.”
Elizabeth Kitley scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Georgia Amoore added 24 points and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Final Four with an 84-74 win over No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Seattle 3 Regional final on Monday night.
For the seventh time in the past 10 Final Fours, there will be a first-time participant and it’s the champions of the ACC, adding another accomplishment to the best season in school history.
Playing in its first regional final, Virginia Tech (31-4) won its 15th straight game and will head to the Final Four has not lost in more than two months. The Hokies will face LSU in the national semifinals on Friday in Dallas.