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NCAAW: South Carolina’s title quest continues against Oregon State

NCAAW: South Carolina’s title quest continues against Oregon State

The 2024 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight tips-off this Sunday, March 31, with a pair of games that will be televised nationally via ABC.

First, the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks look to continue their run as tournament favorites against the Oregon State Beavers, who took “winning ugly” to a new level in their most recent victory. The NC State Wolfpack will then take on the Texas Longhorns in a matchup between two programs with a considerable amount of basketball history to show for. Here’s what we’ll be watching for as the Elite Eight begins.

Can Oregon State pull off an improbable upset against undefeated South Carolina?

The No. 3-seed Oregon State Beavers are back in the Elite Eight for the third time in program history, and they’ve reached this point by just about any means necessary.

Oregon State upset No. 2-seed Notre Dame in the Sweet 16, though the box score reflects a rather unorthodox route to victory. The Beavers committed 26 turnovers in the game (Notre Dame, on the other hand, committed only five) yet couldn’t have done much better with the possessions they kept, shooting 60.4 percent from the field. Defensively, Oregon State held star Irish freshman Hannah Hidalgo in check (4-for-17 shooting) and outrebounded Notre Dame 42-24 in a game that epitomized the mantra of “survive and advance.”

It’s safe to say the Beavers can’t afford to play the same way against No. 1-seed South Carolina. The Gamecocks have seemed more or less unbeatable thus far, and while the No. 4-seed Indiana Hoosiers put up a good fight against South Carolina in the last round, the Gamecocks emerged victorious, pushing their record on the season to 35-0.

While both the Gamecocks and Beavers shot the ball well in the Sweet 16, their Elite Eight clash could be decided by which team’s center has a bigger game. Oregon State’s Raegan Beers was spectacular against Notre Dame, recording 18 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor, while South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso was similarly efficient, dropping 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Whichever frontcourt gains the upper hand will then allow their respective team to play at the pace they like; Oregon State prefers to keep things slow and methodical, while South Carolina likes to push the ball in transition as often as possible.

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