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Preview: No. 1 South Carolina, No. 2 UCLA in action at Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase

The Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase features a triple header, with No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 UCLA headlining the six top-25 teams that will take the court at Mohegan Sun Arena.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Morgan St. at South Carolina
Bree Hall huddles her South Carolina teammates during the No. 1 Gamecocks’ most recent victory.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase features a triple header, with all games on national television. We have six ranked teams—No. 1 South Carolina, No. 2 UCLA, No. 11 Utah, No. 17 UConn, No. 20 Florida State and No. 24 North Carolina—in action, with all three matchups presenting interesting storylines. Here's a preview of what each team has to do to win on Sunday:


No. 2 UCLA Bruins (8-0) vs. No. 20 Florida State Seminoles (7-2)

The Bruins will be favored in this matchup. Lauren Betts is dominating for the Southern California titan. The Bruins may be led by their center, but they have multiple guards who can aggravate opponents in Kiki Rice and Londynn Jones.

If the Seminoles are going to pull off the upset, they'll need to play their best game of the season. That means a monster game from Ta'Niya Latson. But, I'm still having trouble seeing how the the undersized Seminoles contain Betts. Let's see if Makayla Timpson can hold her own and give Florida State enough on the boards and defensive end to surprise UCLA.

No. 11 Utah Utes (8-1) vs. No. 1 Southern Carolina Gamecocks (8-0)

With eight wins, no losses, and the No. 1 ranking in the country, I still think South Carolina is underrated. That's how good they are! Five players are averaging double figures, with Kamilla Cardoso leading the way with 14.4 points and 11.5 rebounds a night.

The Utes will be without Gianna Kneepkens for the rest of the year due to a foot injury, and that absence will be felt Sunday. It will be an uphill battle for the Utes, who will need Alissa Pili to have a career night to have a puncher’s chance of winning. Watching Pili attack is fun, so, at the very least, seeing her try to single-handedly pull off the upset will be entertaining.

No. 24 North Carolina (6-3) vs. No. 17 UConn (5-3)

On paper, UNC versus UConn is the most competitive game happening Sunday. For UConn, it starts and ends with Paige Bueckers’ play. For the most part, that’s been a recipe for success for the Huskies, even if it hasn’t resulted in the dominance UConn fans were hoping for upon their point guard’s return.

The Tarheels also have elite guards, with Deja Kelly averaging 16.1 points a night and Alyssa Utsby adding her 11 points a game. North Carolina will have to focus on keeping Aaliyah Edwards off the glass. If they can win the battle of the boards, I think they’ll pull off the upset.


Game information

No. 2 UCLA Bruins (8-0) vs. No. 20 Florida State Seminoles (7-2)

When: Sunday, Dec. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT

How to watch: ESPN 2

No. 11 Utah Utes (8-1) vs. No. 1 Southern Carolina Gamecocks (8-0)

When: Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT

How to watch: ESPN

No. 24 North Carolina Tarheels (6-3) vs. No. 17 UConn Huskies (5-3)

When: Sunday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT

How to watch: ESPN