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NCAA Women's Tournament Elite Eight, Day 1 final scores: South Carolina and Notre Dame clinch Final Four bids

South Carolina reaches unprecedented heights with their first Final Four appearance. Notre Dame on the other hand made their fifth consecutive Final Four.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Half of the Final Four is now complete. Here are the storylines from Sunday:

Greensboro Regional Final: #1 South Carolina 80, #2 Florida State 74

The Gamecocks never led for the first 30 minutes of the game and were even down by 10 points in the first half. But Tiffany Mitchell scored seven points in the closing minutes to lead South Carolina to their first Final Four berth in school history. Mitchell led all Gamecock scorers with 21 points while Leticia Romero led the Seminole scorers with 13 points.

Though I think many of us saw it coming over the past couple seasons, this Final Four appearance is one heck of an accomplishment for South Carolina. Before head coach Dawn Staley arrived in 2008, the Gamecocks were a below average to mediocre SEC team, minus an Elite Eight appearance in 2002. And though the road was rocky, they ultimately have become a national championship contender.

For more reading, check out Garnet and Black Attack's recap.

Oklahoma City Regional Final: #1 Notre Dame 77, #2 Baylor 68

Lindsay Allen scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Fighting Irish to their fifth consecutive Final Four appearance. She also won the region's Most Outstanding Player.

Though the Irish ultimately won this game by nine points, it didn't look that way early on. Baylor took advantage of an early hot shooting streak to lead 26-17 with 11:50 to go in the first half. However, the Irish took advantage of a flagrant foul by Baylor center Sune Agbuke to kickstart a run of their own and made this an even game after Michaela Mabrey drained a three-pointer with 6:05 left. The Irish took their first lead at the end of the first half and were leading for good after Jewell Loyd made a layup to make the score 55-54 with 11:41 to go.

For more reading, check out One Foot Down's recap.