Gamecocks focused on making run in NCAA Tournament

Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are locked in on making a run in the NCAA Tournament.

Seattle, WA (WACH)- The South Carolina Gamecocks hit the floor for their first day of practice Saturday morning at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

The top-seeded Gamecocks (27-4) face off with Cal State Northridge Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

USC enters the NCAA Tournament as a number one seed for the first time in the program's history. Pressure? The smiling faces and positive energy answered that question, but the SEC regular season champions seem focused as ever.

"We're taking it as a business approach," junior forward Elem Ibiam said. "We come out here and see the scenery, and it's exciting, but at the same time we know we've got to get to business and win these games."

That certainly seems to be the right attitude. The last time USC played, they fell to Kentucky in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament in a game that head coach Dawn Staley called "one of the worst performances of the season." Now, they're ready to bounce back.

"We've been getting back to playing Gamecock basketball," sophomore guard Khadijah Sessions said. "We're approaching every practice like a game situation. We want to win a championship."

The path that led them to Seattle has them built for a run at a title.

"Our players are up for the challenge," Staley said. "We did it in conference play and hopefully we can use that experience in the NCAA Tournament to have the same type of success."

USC and Cal State Northridge tip Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.