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Follow live: South Carolina star Cardoso giving NC State fits

In Sports
April 06, 2024

The Madness is nearing its conclusion. After two weeks of basketball, there are only four teams remaining and it’ll be whittled down to two by the end of the night.

The Final Four tips off Friday with No. 1 South Carolina taking on No. 3 NC State in the first national semifinal. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks are still undefeated at 36-0. A year ago, a very different undefeated South Carolina team was ousted from the Final Four by Iowa; will the Gamecocks make it to the title game and finish this season perfect?

Then the marquee matchup of the night tips later when Caitlin Clark and No. 1 Iowa take on Paige Bueckers and No. 3 UConn. The two superstars and their coaches insisted that the showdown is not about Clark vs. Bueckers, but there will nonetheless be plenty of eyeballs on the duo.

It should be an exciting night of action. Follow along live as the teams fight for a berth in the championship game on Sunday.

Final Four Friday schedule

Women’s schedule (all times Eastern):

7 p.m. — No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 3 NC State (ESPN)

9:30 p.m. — No. 1 Iowa vs. No. 3 UConn (ESPN)

Live26 updates

  • That was a championship-level third quarter from South Carolina. The Gamecocks seized control with a 29-6 run to turn a 32-31 halftime lead into a 61-37 edge after three quarters.

  • Kamilla Cardoso has 21 points,11 rebounds and South Carolina in complete control.

  • South Carolina’s lead is now 55-36 late in the third quarter.. The Gamecocks are running away with a game they led by one at halftime.

  • This is the kind of dominance Dawn Staley wants from Cardoso. Her season high is 23 points and her career high is 25. She’ll almost certainly eclipse those in the biggest game of her career as a starter.

  • NC State’s in trouble. South Carolina’s on a 16-5 start to the third quarter, and Kamilla Cardoso’s just fine. She’s running the floor and finishing over outmatched Wolfpack defenders. The Gamecocks lead, 48-36 with 6:28 left in the third. Can the Wolfpack come up with an answer against the nation’s best team?

  • South Carolina’s on a 5-0 to start the third, and Kamilla Cardoso’s running without any apparent limitations. Best-case scenario for the Gamecocks, who now lead, 37-31.

  • Good news for the Gamecocks. Kamilla Cardoso’s warming up for the third quarter.

  • The good news for NC State is its trailing by one at halftime despite shooting 36.4% overall and 3-of-10 from 3. The Wolfpack made it this far with wins over Tennessee, Stanford and Texas by shooting better than 43% in each of those games and hitting at least five 3s. Against Texas, the Wolfpack hit nine, two off tying a season high.

    For South Carolina, going without Cardoso in the second half would be a tall task since she was dominant so far. She’s back out with the team warming up at halftime. She has kinesiology tape around her left knee.

  • End of 2Q: South Carolina 32, NC State 31

    A much closer first two quarters than many were anticipating in Cleveland. Kamilla Kardoso’s status looms large at the break.

  • South Carolina’s in a battle at halftime, holding a 32-31 lead. All eyes are on the health of Kamilla Cardoso. She left for the locker room in the final moments of the half after appearing to tweak her ankle. The South Carolina center took over in the second quarter en route to 16 points and seven rebounds.

    NC State’s countered with an aggressive defense that’s forced 10 South Carolina turnovers. All-ACC guard Aziaha James has 10 points including a pair of 3-pointers.

  • Kamilla Cardoso just limped back to the locker room after a fall late in the second quarter. Nature of her injury isn’t clear, but a scare for South Carolina. The All-SEC center is dominating the game early with 16 points and seven rebounds. Seems unlikely we’ll see her again before halftime.

  • Sloppy ball security remains an early theme. South Carolina has 10 turnovers midway through the second quarter. NC State has seven.

  • Kamilla Cardoso’s taking over. The All-SEC center has 14 points and is 6-for-6 from the field. She’s scored 10 straight Gamecocks points. South Carolina leads, 26-22.

  • It’s a battle through one quarter. Game’s tied at 16-16 with All-ACC guard Aziaha James leading NC State with eight points including a pair of 3-pointers.. South Carolina has six steals through the first, but hasn’t been able to convert the turnovers into a lead.

  • A strong start for NC State has the Wolfpack up 12-9 at the first break (3:11 first quarter). Aziaha James has two 3-pointers, while both teams have turned the ball over four times in a somewhat sloppy opening quarter. How will South Carolina respond?

  • NC State responds with seven unanswered points for a 7-5 lead. An Aziaha James puts the Wolfpack in front.

  • And we’re off. South Carolina wins the opening to to start the Final Four. Te-Hina Paopao and Raven Johnson on the board first with a floater and a 3 for a 5-0 Gamecocks lead.

  • We’re moments from tipoff with NC State looking to spoil South Carolina’s undefeated season two wins short of a national championship.

  • Ranking the Women’s Final Four starters, from 1-20

    Click photo to read story. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

    Click photo to read story. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

  • With both teams still standing, UConn and NC State are in unprecedented territory

    Click photo to read story. (Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Getty Images)

    Click photo to read story. (Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Getty Images)

  • Geno Auriemma explains why he didn’t recruit Caitlin Clark to her ‘dream school’ UConn

    Click photo to read story. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Click photo to read story. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

  • Why this Final Four field is a surprise, despite the iconic brands and superstars

    Click photo to read story. (Brendall O'Banon/Getty Images)

    Click photo to read story. (Brendall O’Banon/Getty Images)

  • How South Carolina rebuilt itself and became an even bigger juggernaut after roster overhaul

    Click photo to read story. (Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)

    Click photo to read story. (Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)

  • We still have about 20 minutes until tip of the South Carolina-NC State semifinal game, so here’s some reading material to get you ready for the action tonight.

  • Good evening folks and welcome to our Final Four live tracker!

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