NCAA Tournament: Previewing Sunday's games


The result was a 70-50 win that was never really in doubt.

East Region: No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks (25-10) vs.

After their 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament victory at home, including that record-setting 119-30 win over Texas Southern on Saturday, the top-seeded Lady Bears are headed to Oklahoma City to play Louisville in the Sweet 16 for the third time in nine years.

- Senior Guard Sindarius Thornwell has pulled in several awards this postseason for his outstanding season on the court. We know it's a 40-minute game, and we know teams are going to make runs, but we can't take our foot off the pedal, we got to keep the pressure on and keep guarding.

Justin Jackson scored 34 points for North Carolina in that game, only to be topped by Malik Monk's 47, including the game-winning 3-pointer. They were focused and relentless on both ends of the court. He hit four of 10 from beyond the arc, showing that he could find spots in the Baylor zone. His free throw shooting is a positive indicator that he could potentially handle shooting from the perimeter at the next level (just 12/45 in his college career), while his assist rate shows a level of Basketball IQ he didn't previously have.

Junior forward A'Ja Wilson is the star player for the Gamecocks, as she is a Naismith Trophy Finalist and won the SEC Player of the Year.

NOTES: Baylor and SC were meeting for the seventh time, with all games occurring since 2006. It was easier to say that last night than right now, but I don't want to back off of that sentiment. And they did a great job of executing their game plan.

"They disrupted us all day long in terms of us offensively and really feeling comfortable", Fabbri said. He shot eight of 17 from the floor and just two of six from the free throw line.

Most end of game offense during this tournament has been - at best - unproductive.

Getting to the Final Four and playing for a title would be huge for the Gamecocks, and all the publicity is invaluable for the program, but they can't follow that with another 13-year tourney drought.

Besides Thornwell, South Carolina received 12 points each from 6-6 sophomore P.J. Dozier and 6-9 sophomore Chris Silva, who also had a team-high seven rebounds.

One of Baylor's major strengths this season has been in its ability to rebound the basketball.

That has a lot to do with why the teams in this state have little NCAA tournament history, but that little history is also a reason great players haven't stayed.

They face Baylor, who beat No. 11 seed USC 82-78. The Gators led by 8 with less than 2 minutes to go, but allowed Wisconsin to tie it with a late three pointer.

If you're SC - which rode an emotional wave to swamp Duke with 65 second-half points in Greenville on Sunday - you have to feel pretty good about the opportunity that presents itself.

When Baylor threatened to get back into the game - with a 10-0 run midway through the second half - Thornwell was the one to personally stop it, with a three.

SC had outscored Duke, 65-51, in the second half of its 89-81 win.

Three different teams from the Southeastern Conference played three separate games in the Sweet 16. "If we had called a timeout, who knows what (Wisconsin coach) Greg (Gard) does and how they line up and match up and what type of defense that we see". Davis had two of her game high 28 points.

"We got the first, they got the second, now we're at the neutral site and let's see what happens". His goal, instead, is to get the entire team to buy into the same philosophy - one that he knows works and one that he has built his team around.

The Bears were making their fourth straight NCAA appearance, and they had the prideful knowledge that they had achieved their first No.1 ranking earlier this season when they won 20 of their first 21.