The last two times the UNC women’s basketball team met South Carolina, it was do or die.
The Tar Heels' past two Sweet 16 appearances came in 2015 and 2022, and both ended in losses to the Gamecocks.
On Thursday, No. 24 North Carolina will look for revenge against top-ranked South Carolina in Carmichael Arena. For a UNC squad that's coming off two losses to then-No. 16 Kansas State and Florida Gulf Coast over Thanksgiving break, the border battle rematch can go one of two ways for the Tar Heels: a bounce-back upset victory, or a third consecutive loss.
Here are three things to know ahead of Thursday's ACC/SEC Challenge showdown.
South Carolina hasn't gone anywhere
After being ranked No. 6 in the AP preseason poll, South Carolina has quickly moved up to its familiar No. 1 spot — last year, the Gamecocks' ranking never dipped below No. 1, going undefeated before falling to Iowa in the 2023 Final Four.
The Gamecocks have won by an average margin of 51.6 points this season, even defeating a top-10 Notre Dame squad by 29. Last Friday, South Carolina steamrolled Mississippi Valley State in a 101-19 point victory — an 82-point margin.
Behind players like center Kamilla Cardoso, who averages 16.8 points and 11 rebounds, the Gamecocks already have an advantage. Add four other players who average more than 10 points per game, and their depth is unmatched. In comparison, only two Tar Heels — senior guard Deja Kelly and junior center Maria Gakdeng — are averaging double figures.