Osborne, UCLA Look to Shock the World
UCLA has five wins against ranked teams this season. However, the Bruins are listed by the NCAA Women’s basketball odds as heavy underdogs against the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks.
South Carolina is going after its 41st win in a row while UCLA trailed going into the fourth quarter in the second-round win over Oklahoma. The 18 turnovers in that game is a troubling number going against South Carolina.
South Carolina is second nationally in field goal percentage defense and no team still alive in the tournament allows fewer points per game than the Gamecocks.
When looking at the Women’s College basketball news, UCLA is in good shape when it comes to injuries, with the top eight scorers combining to miss just eight games this season. The only player who averaged more than 10 minutes per game who is unavailable is Dominique Onu, who transferred to rival Southern California.
Just four players have appeared in all 34 games for South Carolina. However, everybody looks good to go for the Gamecocks for this Greenville 1 regional semifinal.
South Carolina is first in both national polls and received all 60 first-place votes. UCLA is 14th in the Associated Press poll and 15th in the coaches’ poll.
According to the women’s college basketball lines, South Carolina (-300) is the heavy favorite in the odds to win Women’s College basketball national title. UCLA is tied with Pac-12 rival Colorado for the longest odds at +20000 in the championship odds.
Plenty of Charisma
Before UCLA got a chance to try to take down the reigning champs, the Bruins had to get by a pesky Oklahoma team.
Senior guard Charisma Osborne made sure that happened as she had a season-high 36 points in the 82-73 win to move into the top 10 on UCLA’s career scoring list.
Osborne was 11 for 11 from the foul line in the final 2:19 as the Bruins were able to hold off the Sooners.
When the teams met back in November, Osborne finished with 24 points. She is averaging 16.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 11 games against ranked opponents this season.
Freshman guard Kiki Rice, one of the top recruits in her class, added 14 points and that included four late free throws.
Strong Supporting Cast
Typically when a returning national player of the year has her team in the regional semifinals, it would be safe to assume that she is carrying much of the offensive burden.
That is not the case for South Carolina and Aliyah Boston.
Boston averaged 9.0 points and 10 rebounds in the first two NCAA Tournament games.
Senior guard Zia Cooke continues to be the leading scorer for the defending national champions. She has 32 points and four 3-pointers in the first two games.
The Gamecocks have been getting more offense from senior forward Laeticia Amihere as she has 21 points, eight rebounds in 33 minutes.
Among the many issues when it comes to facing South Carolina is the fact that three of the top four scorers are the 6-foot-5 Boston, 6-foot-7 Kamilla Cardoso and 6-foot-4 Amihere. It is hardly a surprise that the women’s college basketball predictions favor another title run by the Gamecocks.
South Carolina vs UCLA Head-to-Head
South Carolina leads the series with UCLA 3-1 after a 73-64 win on Nov. 29 behind 18 points and 10 rebounds by Boston. It was the third straight win in the series for South Carolina. The Gamecocks won 68-65 on Nov. 22, 2015, in Los Angeles and took the rematch at home 66-57 on Dec. 18, 2016.
This is the first postseason meeting between the teams. Since Dawn Staley took over as the head coach at South Carolina, the Gamecocks are 4-2 against Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
South Carolina vs UCLA Game Information
- Game: UCLA (27-9) vs South Carolina (34-0)
- Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C.
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 25, 3:00 p.m. ET
- UCLA vs South Carolina Live Stream: TBS.com
South Carolina vs UCLA Betting Lines
South Carolina vs UCLA Picks and Prediction
There were 37 offensive rebounds when the teams met in November so this will be a game when both teams are crashing the boards. South Carolina blocked 15 shots in the game – Cardoso and Boston combined for nine – so it will be worth watching to see how the Bruins counter the shot-blocking presence.
UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers attempted this season. However, the Bruins are just 11 of 41 from distance in the tournament and that will need to change for UCLA to have a chance at the upset.
The 17-point line is the highest among the women’s Sweet 16 games and even that might be a little high for a deep South Carolina team. Something for those who bet online to keep in mind: The total of 127½ is the second lowest among the regional semifinals.
South Carolina are listed at -2500 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the South Carolina, you have a chance to win $4. The UCLA are +1175, offering a chance to win $1175 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the Las Vegas college basketball lines gives South Carolina a 96.15% chance to win, with UCLA at 7.84%.