South Carolina’s pursuit of perfection and back-to-back NCAA titles
It’s been over a year since the South Carolina women’s college basketball team lost. Can the Gamecocks go undefeated until the end of the 2022/23 season?
South Carolina has six wins after becoming the 10th team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to top the table and capture a national title, and the first team since UConn in 2015 and 2016 to win back-to-back championships. Breanna Stewart and UConn had the last perfect season, going 38-0 in 2016.
South Carolina, which is projected to take first place overall when the NCAA draw is revealed on Qualifier Sunday (8:00 pm ET, Sportzshala/Sportzshala app), improved to 32-0 on Sunday by winning the conference tournament final. SEC. . It’s the game that baffled the Gamecocks last season when Kentucky upset South Carolina in the SEC title game on March 6, 2022.
After that loss, South Carolina won six games in a row to secure the top spot. second NCAA championship. And the Gamecocks, led by reigning National Player of the Year Alia Boston and top scorer Zia Cook, who start alongside three other veterans, have not fallen since. South Carolina has won 19 consecutive games against AP-rated opponents.
We’re tracking South Carolina’s perfect record, examining how the Gamecocks compare to the previous nine undefeated women’s national champions, and revisiting perfect teams from the past.
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Gamecocks directing previous undefeated teams
South Carolina’s hallmarks this season have been defense, rebounding and depth, the strengths of many unbeaten teams in the past. Sportzshala’s MA Voepel explains why the Gamecocks remind him of the 1986 Texas Longhorns, which became the first NCAA team not to lose. Alexa Philippou analyzes what statistically stands out in South Carolina compared to other ideal teams. And Charlie Creme explores how the Gamecocks might even have an edge over the 2016 Huskies on an important statistic. Story
See how South Carolina compares statistically to previous undefeated teams:
What teams can challenge South Carolina?
During Sunday’s “College GameDay,” analysts Andrea Carter, Rebecca Lobo, and Caroline Peck discussed what it would take to turn Gamecocks around and three teams that could do it.
Carter: “In my opinion, no one can beat the Gamecox when they play at their best. But if South Carolina doesn’t put on a first-class game or starts to falter, Iowa will be able to compete with South Carolina. Iowa hit nine 3-pointers in a game. You have to be able to hit 3-pointers to compete with the Gamecocks because of the way they hit the ball. Iowa is shooting 50% from the field. triple-double any night. Hawkeyes has a lot of weapons. South Carolina had 14 blocks against Ole Miss. [in the SEC semifinals]. Clarke is a tricky player who can score from about that distance.”
Lobo: “The Yukonn intrigues me. We don’t know exactly what Huskies are yet. It’s very similar to last year when Paige Buekers joined the team two games before the end of the regular season. Before her return, they didn’t look like a “Final Four caliber” team. As soon as she did, they became contenders for the national championship. This year the situation is very similar with Azzi Fudd. She returned to the team on Saturday and UConn won by double figures for the first time in a month. They didn’t have a double-digit win in February. Fudd completely changes this team. After Saturday’s game, Geno Auriemma said he just feels good when she’s on the floor. He said no one in America adds a player like Fudd. All of her teammates can now take a deep breath because they don’t feel like every shot they fire is life or death. It will be very interesting to see what UConn looks like as they head into March Madness.”
Pitch: “Indiana might give them a chance. Teri Moren said it was her best defensive team she had in Indiana. This is largely due to the presence of Grace Berger at the point and Mackenzie Holmes inside. two hits. And then they have shooters on the perimeter in Yarden Garson and Sarah Scalia. The X Factor – Sidney Parrish. She brought the attitude and experience from the success she had in Oregon to Bloomington.”
We’ve covered them all, from the first undefeated team in women’s NCAA history (Texas, 1986) to the most recent (Connecticut, CT, 2016). Let’s take a look at a selection of each team’s perfect run stories.
UConn 2016 (38-0): Stewart kept his promise and became the fourth champion
UConn 2014 (40-0): In a battle of the undefeated, Stewart leads UConn to the title
Baylor 2012 (40-0): 40 down from 39 — Griner and Baylor make history
UConn 2010 (39-0): Imperfect game ends perfect season, Huskies find way to win
UConn 2009 (39-0): Holy Trinity Husky! UConn completes third perfect season
UConn 2002 (39-0): Best team? | Frontcourt trio win third title
Tennessee 1998 (39-0): “The best team I’ve coached,” Summit later said.
UConn 1995 (35-0): Balance, chemistry carried over into husky history.
1986 Texas (34-0): Retired, buyout – first perfect season
South Carolina has been ranked #1 on the AP Top 25 for 37 consecutive weeks.
South Carolina (32-0) remains perfect, wins SEC title
Staley: “We don’t need a loss to make a breakthrough”