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2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Sweet 16 Preview: Buffalo Bulls vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Can the Bulls pull off the upset?

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-South Carolina vs Mississippi State
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The 11 seed Buffalo Bulls continue their run in the NCAA tournament when they take on the defending national champions and number 2 seed South Carolina Gamecocks in the sweet 16. USC finished the season ranked number 7 in the country, and are currently 11th in the RPI rankings.

Game Details

  • When: Saturday, March 24th, 11:30 A.M.
  • Where: Times Union Center, Albany, New York
  • Watch: ESPN
  • Stream: WatchESPN app, pending cable provider participation
  • Listen: 107.5 The Game in Columbia, 1520 AM in Buffalo

The Buffalo Bulls are fortunate to be lead by point guard Stephanie Reid, who is a gritty, heart and soul type player, and also by transfer Cierra Dillard. The two are the cornerstones for a defensive minded team that can also score. Reid is an aggressive point guard that can beat teams on both sides of the court. Dillard is a solid scorer and leads the team with 15.8 points per contest. However, that stat does not tell the story. She is the type that hits the daggers that start and finish runs and games.

Cassie Oursler is a steady inside presence, while Summer Hemphill is an up and coming forward that is leading the team and rebounds, and a future star in the making.

The Bulls are a deep team that gets quality minutes both offensively and defensively up to 11 deep.

South Carolina is a defensive minded team that is also very capable of scoring and also deep. They are led by A’ja Wilson, who is scoring at 22.6 a clip, while hauling in 11.9 rebound per game. She is also swatting over 3 per. Bianca Jackson, Lindsey Spann, and Tyasha Harris do a good job of knocking down threes and giving Wilson room to work. The Gamecocks maul people on the glass as a team, too.

There are a few things working in Buffalo’s favor in this game. South Carolina is not a weak team by any stretch, but there is a reason why they are the 2 seed in the same bracket as UCONN. The two teams have a similar makeup, with USC having the bigger star, but they don’t have the second one, like the Bulls. I also think Summer Hemphill is a star in the making, and she seems to be gaining momentum with each game. Throw in the facts that the game is in Albany, and USC might be peaking past to a potential match-up against UCONN in the elite eight, and Buffalo just might be able to pull off the upset. In fact, I am calling the upset, Buffalo wins, 72-68.