By: Ryan Fullam
The USC Women's Basketball team invited fans to Colonial Life Arena to watch the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Selections Show with them Monday night.
For the first time in NCAA history the top 16 seeds in the tournament would host their first and second round games. For the Gamecocks this means they get to play in a building where they are unbeaten the past two seasons.
Fans, players, and coaches patiently awaited to hear the Gamecock's name called and to learn what region they would be playing in. At this point, all the work had been done and the team felt confident about their body of work on the season.
The team had an impressive 30 wins with only two loses this year, while going 15-1 in the SEC and earning a share of the regular season conference title. Last week the team added to their list of accomplishments by winning the schools first SEC Tournament Championship, beating Tennessee 62-46 in the final.
With all of these accolades, the team felt as if they had done enough to earn a number one seed in the tournament.
As time passed the fans were able to participate in on court games with the players as they patiently waited to hear their fate.
Two regions had already been announced as the Greensboro regional was up next, which would allow the Gamecocks to still play close to home if they advance into the second weekend.
Head Coach Dawn Staley and the team were sitting dead center on the court, surrounded by supporters, as the stadium grew silent and the region was ready to be announced.
"Our fans have been right there with us all season long and for us it was just fitting to be amongst the fans when they announced where we were going to be playing," said Head Coach Dawn Staley.
The silence quickly changed to a loud roar as the Gamecocks had indeed earned the number one seed in the Greensboro Regional.
This was the second year in a row the Gamecocks had earned a number one seed in the tournament, but this year they get a chance to give back to fans who were number one in attendance this season.
"Thank you to the fans for making this one of the toughest places to play in the nation. We get to play right here in front of you guys so hope to see you here this weekend,” said Senior Captain Aleighsa Welch.
The Gamecocks first game will be at 5 p.m. on March 20 in Colonial Life Arena against Savannah State.