How to watch as No. 1 South Carolina WBB plays UNC in NCAA Tournament second round

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The No. 1 South Carolina women’s basketball team took care of business Friday against No. 16 Presbyterian, winning by 52 points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Next up is a trickier opponent: No. 8 North Carolina, which defeated No. 9 Michigan State on Friday to advance to a second round game against USC.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s Gamecocks vs. Tar Heels battle, with a spot in the Sweet 16 in Albany, New York at stake.

South Carolina WBB vs. UNC game info

  • Who: No. 1 South Carolina (33-0) vs. No. 8 North Carolina (20-12)

  • Where: Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC

  • When: 1 p.m. Sunday

  • TV: ABC

  • Radio: 107.5 FM locally (see full list of affiliates here)

  • Stream: Via WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app

  • Next up: The winner of South Carolina-UNC will advance to a Sweet 16 in Albany, New York next Friday against a TBD opponent.

Bree Hall injury update

USC coach Dawn Staley shared another positive update on junior guard Bree Hall’s status after Hall missed Friday’s first round game against Presbyterian for “precautionary reasons.”

Asked Saturday if she expected Hall to play against UNC, Staley nodded.

“Yes,” Staley said. “Yes, yes. She’ll be at practice (Saturday), and she’ll be moving around doing her thing.”

South Carolina has not disclosed the specific reason for Hall’s absence during Friday’s blowout of Presbyterian, but she was spotted during Thursday’s NCAA Tournament media availability wearing a recovery device on one of her knees.

South Carolina’s Bree Hall (23) sits on the bench as the Gamecocks play Presbyterian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC, on Friday, March. 22, 2024
South Carolina’s Bree Hall (23) sits on the bench as the Gamecocks play Presbyterian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC, on Friday, March. 22, 2024

Hall — who confirmed during South Carolina’s open locker room she’d be ready to play against the Tar Heels — averages 9.7 points per game (fourth on the team) and has made 40 3-pointers this season, second only to guard Te-Hina Paopao’s 77 makes.

A junior guard from Ohio, Hall had previously started all 32 games for South Carolina. Freshman guard Tessa Johnson started in Hall’s place against Presbyterian and will return to her bench role Sunday against UNC.

UNC game ‘should be a battle’

South Carolina is 2-0 in its last two games against North Carolina. But the Tar Heels and coach Courtney Banghart have seriously tested the Gamecocks in both of those matchups.

During USC’s 2022 NCAA championship run, its closest game was a 69-61 win against UNC in the Sweet 16 in Greensboro. Earlier this season, the Tar Heels led the Gamecocks by 11 points in the first half at Carmichael Arena before USC roared back for a 65-58 win on Nov. 30.

Any common denominators in those games?

“What they do, they do well,” Staley said, adding that UNC is a “great, cohesive team that plays really physical. If you beat them, you have to beat them. … They’re not going to give you anything easy. So it should be a battle. Should be a battle on Sunday.”

University of North Carolina’s Alexandra Zelaya (1) is pressured by Michigan State’s Tory Ozment (1) during the first half of action in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC, on Friday, Mar. 22, 2024
University of North Carolina’s Alexandra Zelaya (1) is pressured by Michigan State’s Tory Ozment (1) during the first half of action in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC, on Friday, Mar. 22, 2024

Senior guard Deja Kelly (16.6 ppg, 3.2 apg) and senior forward Alyssa Ustby (12.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.7 apg) are the Tar Heels’ top two scorers and were major factors in UNC’s eight-point Sweet 16 loss to USC in 2022 and seven-point loss to the Gamecocks this season.

Staley also complimented Boston College transfer forward Maria Gakdeng, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds (seven offense) in UNC’s first round win over MSU, and Iowa State transfer guard Lexi Donarksi, a strong shooter and one-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

“What I remember from the game is that they were physical, they were really aggressive and they came out swinging first,” Paopao said. “That took us a while to adjust, so we had to come out swinging first and punching first.”

“We’ve just got to come out with aggression and be physical and just be who we are.”

South Carolina vs. UNC game notes

  • Kamilla Cardoso, USC’s All-American center and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, will make her NCAA debut against UNC after missing Friday’s game due to a fighting suspension stemming from the SEC championship game

  • Against Presbyterian on Friday, MiLaysia Fulwiley had 17 points, the most by a USC freshman in an NCAA Tournament game since A’ja Wilson in 2015, and made five 3-pointers, which tied a program NCAA game record

  • South Carolina’s seven-point win over UNC on Nov. 30 remains its smallest margin of victory in a non-conference game this season and the team’s third-closest game overall.

  • UNC led Michigan State by as many as 16 points in the first half and was up 54-42 with 3:22 left in the game before surrendering a late 14-3 MSU run and ultimately escaping with a three-point win

  • The Tar Heels have made four straight NCAA Tournaments under Banghart and have won at least one game in their past three March Madness appearances