For SU women's basketball team, last season ended at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32. The Syracuse Orange will look to avenge that loss in the 2016 Sweet Sixteen.
The Orange played the Gamecocks twice last season, both resulting in wins for SC. The Orange lost by only four in the first meeting between the two programs. The second match-up did not go as well for the Orange, as South Carolina ran away with a 97-68 victory.
This season South Carolina is once again a No. 1 seed and they're just as scary this year, having suffered just one loss, to mighty UConn. USC easily took home the SEC regular-season title and handily won the SEC Tournament.
South Carolina is a deep team but has one of the top starting five in the country. Their likely starters are A'ja Wilson (F), Tiffany Mitchell (G), Alaina Coates (C), Khadijah Session (G) and Asia Dozier (F). A'ja Wilson is South Carolina's best player and probably the best player in the entire SEC. Wilson won SEC Player of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was All-SEC First-Team. A'ja Wilson averages 16 points, almost 9 rebounds, and a whopping three blocks. She could pose a huge problem for the Orange as SU does not have a natural power forward who can keep up with Wilson. South Carolina also had two other SEC First-Teamers in Mitchell and Coates.
Oh and Dawn Staley, the coach of the Gamecocks, won SEC coach of the year.
Mitchell, Wilson, and Coates tend to lead SC in scoring. The big three contribute around 60% of all points scored; averaging at least 12 points per game apiece. South Carolina is also a fantastic rebounding team. They outrebound their opponent by around eight per game.
Syracuse should expect a difficult and physical match-up from a great South Carolina basketball team. Vegas favors South Carolina by 10.5 points according to Sportsbet.com.
The Orange hope to extend what is already the best season in program history on Friday, at 7 pm. You can catch the action in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on ESPN.