Busting Brackets

NC State vs South Carolina: 2024 NCAA Women's Final 4 game preview, TV schedule

Mar 31, 2024; Albany, NY, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley slaps hands with
Mar 31, 2024; Albany, NY, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley slaps hands with / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina looks to remain unbeaten and get back to the national title game. But could NC State be able to pull off the shocking upset?

TV schedule: Friday, April 5th, 7:00 pm ET, ESPN
Arena: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio

It's been a historic Women's NCAA Tournament this year, with record-breaking TV ratings and viewership. There's been plenty of starpower among the top teams and great games. But there's still just one team without a loss in South Carolina (36-0).

The Gamecocks have been dominant on both ends of the court, beating plenty of teams by 20+ points. However, they've had some close calls as of late, showing that they're vulnerable. One of those was a 79-75 win over Indiana in the Sweet 16. But after beating Oregon State by 12, South Carolina remains unbeaten in the Final Four.

The Gamecocks are led by Kamilla Cardoso, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and All-American, who puts up 14.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, and 2.5 blocks a night. The supporting cast is just as good, including freshman guard MiLaysia Fulwiley (11.9 ppg) and Te-Hina Paopao (10.9 ppg and 3.7 apg), who leads the nation in 3-point shooting at 46%.

Their opponent is NC State (31-6), who has eight wins against ranked opponents on the season, including against the likes of UConn, Colorado, and Notre Dame. On the run to the Final Four, the Wolfpack beat Stanford and Texas, thanks to Aziaha James scoring 58 points combined. She averages 16.7 ppg and 3.0 apg on the season as an All-ACC performer, one of five double-digit scorers on the roster.

NC State has plenty of scoring depth and their balance is key, as teams can't shut down one player without others taking over. 6'5 center River Baldwin (10.6 ppg and 6.9 rpg) may be one of the few women in college basketball that can match up with Cardoso inside without needing help.

Next. Top 30 player "covid year" decisions to watch. Top 30 player "covid year" decisions to watch. dark

NC State may be a big underdog but they have the pieces to put of an upset bid on South Carolina. Like we saw last year, the finals aren't guaranteed for Coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks. Still, with a better shooting group, this team should be good enough to win and advance to the title game.

Prediction: South Carolina 73, NC State 67