USC slipping on the dance shoes again

Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.

COLUMBIA (WACH)- For the second straight year, Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are headed back to the big dance. USC drew a four seed in the Norfolk region and will face 13 seed South Dakota State on Saturday in Boulder, Colorado.

Similar to last season, the Gamecocks have the potential to face an opponent on their home floor. If USC wins their first game, it will face the winner of fifth seed Colorado or 12 seed Kansas.

"We know it's win or go home," freshman guard Tiffany Mitchell said. "We've got to leave it all out on the court because we know there's no tomorrow."

The Gamecocks bring back five players from last year's team that made the Sweet 16, but Staley knows that experience isn't everything in the tournament.

"We're not solely going to rely on that," Staley said. "There are three other teams in our bracket and we have to make sure we're prepared to play."

Preparation will be key for the Gamecocks. One question heading into this weekend will be how the team handles the high altitude in Colorado.

"They've just told us to drink a lot of water and not eat too much," senior forward Ashley Bruner said. "I think we can all handle that."

Tip is set for 4:10 p.m. on Saturday and will be televised on ESPN2.