Is There Any Chance South Carolina Doesn’t Reach The Women’s Final Four?

“Favorite” is an understatement for South Carolina. The program, which has been ranked No. 1 from preseason to Selection Sunday, breezed through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. A loss at any point this weekend would be not just an upset—it would be an astonishing one.

Is there any chance the Gamecocks don’t make it to the Final Four in Minneapolis? Yes, and it’s more than you might think.

This has always been a team built on its defense. It’s the best in the nation on just about every important defensive metric—no squad holds its opponents to a lower effective field-goal percentage or allows them to grab fewer rebounds—and that has held as true as ever in March. But on offense? There’s been more to critique lately for South Carolina. 

It was visible in its surprising loss to Kentucky in the SEC tournament, where it failed to execute in the clutch, particularly with free-throw shooting. More worryingly, it was visible in the Gamecocks’ second-round win against Miami last weekend, when they shot less than 30% from the field for their worst shooting performance of the year.