2023 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Norfolk State has drawn No. 1 overall seed and defending national champion South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, as the 68-team field was unveiled on Sunday evening.
The game is set for Friday in Columbia, S.C. Game time and TV broadcast information are to be determined.
The Spartans have set a Div. I program record for wins in a season with 26 and won their first MEAC tournament title since 2002 on Saturday with a 56-52 win over Howard. Norfolk State boasts the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in Camille Downs, the MEAC Coach of the Year in Larry Vickers and the MEAC Tournament Outstanding Performer in Kierra Wheeler.
Norfolk State will be making its second trip to the NCAAs, having taken on Duke in the first round in 2002.
South Carolina (32-0), the defending national champion, is riding a 38-game winning streak and is coming off winning both the Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular-season and tournament championships. Dawn Staley is in her 15th season at the helm, and she boasts a talented roster that includes National Player of the Year candidate Aliyah Boston.
This will mark the second straight year in which the MEAC champion will face the Gamecocks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament; Howard faced South Carolina last season after the Bison defeated Incarnate Word in the First Four.
South Florida and Marquette will also be in Columbia for the first two rounds.