South Carolina and Oregon State face off in NCAA Tournament for Final Four spot.

Albany — South Carolina's Albany 1 Regional Final appearance was far from flawless. Dawn Staley's team has won every game this season, which is important at this time.

Now, it's about playing to the habits you've created all season and making adjustments in real time when they go awry. That's the focus at this point, Staley added. “So not much yelling and screaming. Basically showing them what to do. I assume they know. I think this time will let them trust those habits.”

Three wins away from completing the 10th flawless season in women's NCAA Tournament history, the Gamecocks (35-0) nearly wasted a 22-point lead before defeating Indiana in the Sweet 16. Oregon State, which advanced for the first time since 2018, faces off on Sunday.

We come in thinking, "Hey, we've got to win because it's that part of the season where it's win or go home, and we don't want to go home," said Gamecocks guard Te-Hina Pao Pao. Originally from Oregon, Pao Pao transferred to South Carolina this year.

I believed I left Oregon State for South Carolina. But it will be so much fun, she said. I get along well with Scott. His team is Pac-12. But they know me well. I told them we had to lock in on defense tomorrow and play our game to hurry them up. It will be a slow, deliberate game.

Beavers realize they have a big job. The NCAA Tournament has seen them play South Carolina three times in the recent decade. They've lost every time. “As you look at them, they’re undefeated for a reason,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “There’s little weakness. Highly-coached, experienced coach, and has a little of everything.”

Rueck believes his squad must improve basketball care. The Beavers had a season-high 26 turnovers in the Sweet 16 win over Notre Dame. “Turnovers were a problem for us yesterday, so we’re going to have to take care of the ball and handle the pressure,” Oregon State's Talia von Oelhoffen said. I think if we do that, we can get the shots we want, so it's going to come down to hitting shots.”

BATTLE OF THE BIGS Paint will host the game-within-a-game. South Carolina and Oregon State's Sweet 16 wins included 6-foot-7 senior center Kamilla Cardoso and 6-4 sophomore forward Raegan Beers. Cardoso, a dominant player all season, led the Gamecocks with 22 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks against the Hoosiers and is ready to face Beers.

“It’s gonna be a great matchup,” Cardoso remarked. Feeling excited. She plays well offensively and defensively. I must work early, box out, and rebound.” Beers is used to playing bigs in the Pac-12 and compared Cardoso to Stanford's Cameron Brink, so she's ready for the taller task

Beers added, “Obviously, we can’t go into her as much because she is 6-foot-7 tall, lengthy and can block your shot like no other.” Finishing strong like we have against other Pac-12 tall post players is crucial, especially tomorrow when I get some great post-play. We look forward to solving that problem tomorrow.”

America's team? The Beavers want national support as they advance in the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State players released a TikTok. “I just think this team is so incredible and so special,” von Oelhoffen added. “So we may not have big names in commercials and TikTok stars yet. We try... I think all that means is that we're America's team, we're selfless, we play together, and we're a family, and it's a story and headline I can get behind and I think many people should too.”

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