NCAAW SEC: South Carolina Gamecocks surviving, Tennessee Vols steadying

After they obliterated then-No. 3 LSU (25-1, 13-1) handy the Woman Tigers their first loss, it appeared the destiny of No. 1-ranked and undefeated South Carolina (27-0, 14-0) was sealed, with the Gamecocks destined to finish an ideal common season on their method to a second-consecutive nationwide championship.

However Ole Miss (20-7, 9-5) had different concepts, requiring South Carolina to earn their future.

Final Thursday, the Rebels pushed the Woman Tigers to the brink in Baton Rouge, falling 69-60. Internet hosting the Gamecocks on Sunday, the Rebels additional licensed their standing as a rising menace within the SEC, with the potential to trigger bother within the SEC and NCAA tournaments. In his latest Bracketology, ESPN’s Charlie Creme categorizes Ole Miss as a No. 8 seed. This coming week, the Rebels full their convention slate by welcoming Missouri and visiting Alabama, with a pair of wins giving Coach Yo’s squad 11 SEC wins, a possible 4th-place end within the convention standings and a attainable entry into the High 25.

Nevertheless, the Gamecocks finally overcame the Insurgent zone protection that provoked inefficient offensive outings from senior stars Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke, escaping Oxford with the 64-57 win. In extra time, South Carolina tapped into its expertise executing in high-leverage moments, with a lift from Cooke’s powerful shotmaking bona fides.

Heading into the final weekend of regular-season convention play, let’s check out the 5 different groups that sit within the convention’s high seven, for the reason that groups sporting successful convention data are most probably to make noise within the SEC tournament and earn a berth to the NCAA match. South Carolina will face two of these groups — Tennessee and Georgia — as they try to protect their excellent file this weekend.

Two Bulldogs can safe tickets to the Large Dance

Just like the Rebels, the Woman Bulldogs (19-9, 8-6) are on the rise. Since a mid-January loss to convention cellar dweller Texas A&M, Georgia has gone 7-1, with the lone loss a five-point defeat at LSU. On Sunday, the Woman Dawgs unleashed an authoritative fourth quarter to run away from the Razorbacks of Arkansas. To encourage extra confidence of their postseason prospects, Coach Abe’s crew should care for Auburn at dwelling on Thursday. And whereas they may not have the ability to topple South Carolina on Sunday, a good defeat would additional bolster Georgia’s resume. Creme currently projects UGA as a No. 10 seed.

The convention’s different Bulldogs — Mississippi State (19-8, 8-6) — are slated as a No. 11 seed, one of many final 4 groups to make the 68-team area and, thus, face a play-in sport. This previous Sunday’s Senior Day win over Alabama strengthened MSU’s case for a safer seed, and a win over LSU in Baton Rouge on Sunday actually would. Nevertheless, Sam Purcell’s crew can’t afford a letdown loss to Arkansas on Thursday.

Confidence or concern for Woman Tigers and Woman Vols?

If one was skeptical about LSU’s early-season dominance over a gentle non-conference slate, the Woman Tigers’ latest performances may validate that perspective. Not solely did LSU endure a shellacking in opposition to South Carolina, however, of late, Kim Mulkey’s troops haven’t discovered simple wins when going through the SEC’s middle- and lower-tier groups, regardless of the continued celebrity stat traces turned in by Angel Reese.

Whereas it probably will take a stronger efficiency versus the Gamecocks in a possible SEC match matchup to encourage full religion within the Woman Tigers’ nationwide championship upside, taking good care of enterprise in opposition to a Vanderbilt crew with solely three convention wins on Thursday and in opposition to a Mississippi State squad eyeing an upset on Sunday ought to ease any issues about LSU’s slightly-shaky standing. Ranked No. 5 nationally, the Woman Tigers are targeted as a No. 2 seed — though probably pressured to earn a Remaining 4 berth a great distance from Baton Rouge within the Pacific Northwest — within the match.

Anticipated to be among the many convention’s, and nation’s, elite, it has been a tumultuous season for Tennessee (20-9, 12-2) for plenty of causes. However, Tennessee largely has gained the video games that, contemplating among the challenges they’ve encountered, they need to have gained, solely upset by Mississippi State by a single level. But, whereas placing collectively sturdy performances in opposition to the likes of Stanford and UConn, the Woman Vols haven’t managed to take down a well-liked foe. Thursday night time, they’ve a ultimate alternative to earn such a victory, when the Gamecocks arrive on Rocky High in all their unbeaten glory. Whether or not or not it punctures South Carolina’s perfection, Tennessee should shut out the season with a win at Kentucky with a view to keep, or enhance upon, its projected No. 6 seed within the NCAA match.

The quiet competence of the Tide

Like Tennessee, Alabama (20-7, 9-5) lacks a signature win, compiling a resume that, till a subpar efficiency in final Sunday’s loss at Mississippi State, lacked any evident blemishes. Kristy Curry and firm seemingly deserve a bit extra consideration for his or her stable season, one which has them as a No. 8 seed within the latest Bracketology.

An SEC or NCAA tourney upset, after all, would direct extra eyes to the Tide. As probably the most prolific and correct 3-point taking pictures crew within the SEC, they’ve the elements needed to drag off this feat. However first, Alabama will goal to certify its fourth-place spot within the convention standings. This coming Sunday’s aforementioned matchup with equally aspirational Ole Miss is probably the most consequential contest on the ultimate day of regular-season convention motion.