FSU Women’s Basketball Elite 8 Preview


Sunday afternoon at 12 PM, the South Region’s #2 seed FSU Women’s Basketball team will compete in just their 2nd-ever Elite 8, the first since 2010, when they play the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in Greensboro, North Carolina. Here is what you need to know about South Carolina and how they matchup with the ‘Noles.

Series History

FSU and South Carolina are in different conferences with FSU in the ACC and SC representing the SEC. However, the ‘Noles and Gamecocks used to both belong to the Metro Conference and played each other on a nearly yearly basis. South Carolina has dominated the series and won 16 out of the 18 matchups between the 2 teams. However, FSU won the most recent matchup 54-53 in 1991.

Season Recap

The South Carolina Gamecocks had a very good season, finishing the regular season 27-2, losing only to Kentucky and UConn before winning the SEC Tournament and earning the #1 seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament. They spent a large amount of this season ranked #1 in the USA Today and Coaches Polls before falling off down the stretch. The Gamecocks won their first 2 NCAA Tournament games by 33 and 29 points before sneaking by UNC in the Sweet 16 with a 67-65 win.

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Key Players

  • Tiffany Mitchell is the 2-time reigning SEC Player of the Year and leading scorer for SC, averaging 14.3 points per game as well as 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game. She is the 3-point specialist for the Gamecocks with 55 3 pointers, leading the team, and hitting on 42.0% of her 3s.
  • A’ja Wilson is the USC player who is 2nd in scoring behind Mitchell, averaging 13.0 points per game. Wilson is more of an interior presence with 6.6 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game.
  • Alaina Coates is the 3rd and final South Carolina player who averages double-digit points with 11.0 points. She also leads the team in rebounds, averaging 8.0 rebounds per game and also hits 54.7% of her shots.

How Do the ‘Noles Matchup?

Florida State and South Carolina have starters with similar heights and as such, play somewhat similarly stylistically. However, despite their field goal percentages being very close to each other, SC has taken and hit about twice as many shots as FSU. This is due to the fact that the Gamecocks run a much faster tempo than Florida State normally, pushing ahead and tiring the other team out. However, Florida State is quite capable of wearing other teams out as well so that will probably not be an effective strategy for South Carolina. It will be interesting to see which tempo wins out and if the teams play a faster or slower paced game. The season stats for both teams are very similar between the two teams in nearly every category. The few categories that have a significant difference include turnovers, where SC commits 4 less per game, and blocks, where South Carolina blocks 6.3 shots per game and FSU blocks just 3.7 per game.

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Regardless of how the final score ends up, this should be a highly contested game with a Final 4 berth on the line. In the end, I think that Leticia Romero, Adut Bulgak, and Shakayla Thomas step up with big games, which will be needed in order for the ‘Noles to win, and FSU pulls out a 68-66 win and advances to their first Final 4 appearance in program history.