The Gamecocks eliminated the Tigers from the SEC tournament with a 4-0 win. The victory sets up an Elite Eight matchup for Missouri against Kentucky on Thursday night, where they will look to repeat their one and only championship game win of this season.
Missouri beat South Carolina in the SEC Championship game to become the first team to win a national championship in football.
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Charlie Creme is a character in the film Charlie Creme
- For ESPN.com, Charlie Creme forecasts the women’s NCAA tournament bracket.
Mechelle Voepel Mechelle Voepel Mechelle Voepel
- Mechelle Voepel is an espnW reporter that covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports. Voepel has been with ESPN since 1996 and has covered women’s basketball since 1984.
COLUMBIA, MO (KFVS) — Missouri upset No. 1 South Carolina with a 70-69 overtime win on Thursday. It was the Gamecocks’ first defeat of the 2021-22 women’s college basketball season, and it halted their Division I-record 43-game winning run against unranked opponents.
Lauren Hansen, a junior guard, nailed the game-winning layup with 0.1 seconds remaining in overtime to give Missouri its first victory against the AP Top 25’s No. 1 team. And the Tigers accomplished it without their leading scorer and SEC rebounder, Aijha Blackwell (16.6 PPG, 12.7 RPG), who is undergoing COVID-19 treatments.
South Carolina (12-1) struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting just 32.8 percent from the floor, despite Missouri (12-2) playing only seven players. Aliyah Boston, a contender for national player of the year, had her sixth straight double-double, but she was one of only three Gamecocks to reach double digits.
What was Mizzou’s secret to defeating South Carolina? What does the loss of the Gamecocks imply for the national title race, standings, and Bracketology? We examine the snafu in further detail.
What went wrong for the Gamecocks in South Carolina? What did Missouri accomplish to dethrone the defending national champions?
Creme: From start to finish, the Gamecocks lacked a feeling of urgency. They spent the most of the game acting as though the predicted outcome would take care of itself. To be honest, I had the same reaction when watching the game. It didn’t seem likely that Missouri, with its weakened lineup, would be able to complete the task. The Tigers, it turns out, did.
The lack of urgency showed itself in South Carolina’s perimeter defense. Trying to stop Missouri’s penetration, the Gamecocks’ guards were a step behind. Hansen’s game-winning, driving layup was the most prominent example, but it was far from the only one. Because South Carolina’s perimeter defenders were a step sluggish, she was able to round the corner and utilize a screen to go all the way to the hoop. All night long, it was like that.
The Tigers’ attack relied on Hansen and Mama Dembele being able to round the corner and get into the path. As a result, the Tigers were able to hit almost half of their 3-point attempts (7-of-15). That type of dribble penetration isn’t allowed in South Carolina too often. And when the Gamecocks do make a layup, Boston and Kamilla Cardoso are generally there to stop them. Missouri’s tactic drew South Carolina’s big men away from the basket, and those open lanes were often converted into layups on Thursday.
The South Carolina backcourt had a rough night in general. Zia Cooke, Destanni Henderson, and Destiny Littleton combined for 20 points on 7-of-35 shooting from the field. Hansen outscored them all by herself with 21 points.
For 45 minutes, Missouri played solid, unselfish, execution-focused basketball. The Tigers didn’t allow themselves to be dominated on the glass, despite having a plus-10 rebounding edge, and they only turned the ball over eight times. Missouri was understaffed and outsized, both of which might have been disastrous. But nothing was too much for Missouri to handle because to coach Robin Pingeton’s game plan and her team’s conviction in it and ability to execute in crucial situations.
This was a typical instance of a much more skilled side allowing a large underdog to get too comfortable and linger around long enough for confidence to grow. Even the five-point deficit Missouri faced in overtime wasn’t too much to overcome after that occurred.
Missouri ended South Carolina’s 43-game victory run against unranked opponents, which was the longest current streak in Division I, with its first win against the AP No. 1 team. AP Colin E. Braley/Flickr
Missouri almost upset Baylor at Waco, Texas, on Dec. 5, but lost 70-68. Voepel: Missouri proved it has the tenacity to stay with a top team when it nearly upset Baylor in Waco, Texas, on Dec. 5. Hansen missed a shot at the conclusion of the last game, but she scored the game-winning goal on Thursday.
Hansen began her career at Auburn before moving to Missouri last year, where she averaged 6.5 points per game in 2020-21. This season, she’s had some huge performances, including a career-high 34 points against Lehigh on Nov. 28. Nothing, though, was more important than the game on Thursday.
The Tigers have had a difficult couple of seasons, going 9-22 in 2019-20 and 9-13 last season. The Tigers have improved this season thanks to junior standouts Blackwell and Hayley Frank. Even without Blackwell, they managed to dethrone No. 1.
Ladazhia Williams, a redshirt senior forward, recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds while also playing strong defense.
‘Let’s make sure we empty our tanks, put our hearts out there, and just let it all hang out,” Pingeton remarked. “You’re not playing in fear when you go after something.” You are not engulfed in muck. “You’re simply having fun.”
Is there going to be a new No. 1 in the Top 25 rankings on Monday?
Creme: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, South Carolina continues to be the greatest team in the nation, and it isn’t even close. The Gamecocks have a large margin for error in keeping the top rank. It would be foolish to make any changes at the top of the rankings. Who would be the first to rise above them? Louisville? South Carolina has six wins against the NET top 25 while the Cardinals have one. What about North Carolina State? The Gamecocks defeated the Wolfpack. Stanford is in the same boat. I’m hoping that the voters don’t get caught up in the moment and instead look at the season as a whole. The Gamecocks have definitely earned the right to be ranked No. 1 in the country.
Voepel: I agree with Charlie: I don’t believe this defeat should knock South Carolina out of first place, but voters may feel compelled to do so. Even the Tigers would acknowledge that the Gamecocks would have won this game nine times out of ten. That, however, was not the case.
Is there any benefit to South Carolina? Yes, I believe so. This defeat will aggravate the Gamecocks in a positive manner. They can review the tape and see how they allowed the Tigers to get too close to the hoop, didn’t create enough turnovers to go into transition, and started slowly. They can work on those things.
This season, South Carolina has been the overwhelming favorite. What impact does Thursday’s outcome have on the national championship race?
Creme: I still believe South Carolina is the greatest team in the country, and they are my pick to win the national title.
What Thursday night revealed was a weakness in South Carolina. The Gamecocks are a defensive-minded squad. South Carolina is beatable when an opponent exploits the Gamecocks’ defensive weaknesses, like Missouri did. Poor perimeter shooting allows the Gamecocks to get away with it. That has never been one of this group’s strong suits. They can’t get away with a weak defensive effort and subpar shooting, as they demonstrated on Thursday. Coach Dawn Staley should be able to immediately correct the lack of defensive energy.
Staley noted early this season that, given its depth, this is arguably the strongest defensive squad she’s ever had. The Gamecocks, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be that way on Thursday. That’s something that can be fixed.
I don’t believe anything changes in terms of South Carolina’s status as a national title favorite, but this setback illustrates that the Gamecocks can be defeated.
For what it’s worth, South Carolina’s loss at Missouri on a last-second shot in February 2017 — the Tigers’ Sophie Cunningham hit that one — ended up being the Gamecocks’ last loss that season, as they went on to win the national title.
Robin Pingeton breaks down Missouri’s game-winning play to overcome No. 1 South Carolina in overtime, 70-69, in the program’s first victory against a top-seeded team.
What’s next for the Gamecocks and Tigers? What does each team’s future hold, and how does this effect the SEC?
Creme: This victory is significantly more beneficial to Missouri than it is to South Carolina. The Gamecocks are no longer aiming for an unblemished season, but they still have the chance to win the SEC with ease. South Carolina, I believe, will rebound. On Sunday, when the Rebels visit Colonial Life Arena, a part of me feels terrible for them.
The Tigers should now be able to compete with anybody and should be considered a contender to finish in the top four in the SEC. They accomplished it as their finest player sat in front of the television watching the game. When Blackwell returns to the floor, the Tigers should feel as though their options are limitless. Missouri has previously come close to defeating Baylor. The Tigers have now defeated the nation’s top squad. The NCAA tournament resume has just received a significant lift.
Voepel: I assumed Blackwell would have a national television audience for this game, which she deserved given her skill. Instead, she had to watch on TV as part of the COVID-19 procedure, but she was ecstatic for her teammates. Blackwell, on the other hand, has the potential to be a WNBA player, and it will be interesting to watch how the Tigers build on that when she returns to the lineup.
It wasn’t the only upset on Thursday, as Kim Mulkey’s No. 19 LSU team defeated No. 13 Georgia on the road. So far in the SEC season, the conference has already experienced some major moments.
What influence does Mizzou’s victory against South Carolina, the current No. 1 team in Charlie’s newest forecast, have on Bracketology?
Creme: With all of those impressive victories, South Carolina has amassed so much value that nothing has changed: the Gamecocks are still the best team in the country. As previously stated, the Gamecocks have six victories against the NET top 25. Stanford and NC State are the next best with three each. South Carolina had a large lead over the rest of the nation. It became a bit smaller on Thursday, but it’s still a big deal.
Missouri was projected to be a No. 9 seed in last week’s bracket. This victory will propel the Tigers to at least a No. 7 seed when our revised prediction is released on Friday. With an 11-2 record entering Thursday, the Tigers have slowly ascended the standings. Even though there is still much work to be done only one game into the SEC season, the upset of South Carolina, particularly given the circumstances, will provide a huge lift come selection time.
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The “mizzou vs south carolina 2020” is a match that will be played on the 20th of November 2020. The game will be between Missouri and South Carolina.
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