Why LSU coach Kim Mulkey said South Carolina women's basketball should repeat as NCAA champions
After LSU women's basketball advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament with a 54-42 win over Miami on Sunday, coach Kim Mulkey was brimming with confidence — for more than just her team.
In her second season at the helm of the program, Mulkey led the Tigers (32-2) to their first Final Four since 2008. She became just the third woman in NCAA history to lead multiple teams to the Final Four after doing so four times at Baylor from 2000-2021. However, Mulkey knows what she'll be up against in Dallas, and she has already made her pick for national champion.
"South Carolina is going (to the Final Four), I'm just telling you flat out. I'm getting ahead of myself but ... they're going," Mulkey said. "That's nothing against who they play. I just know how good they are. I had to play them ... South Carolina, I've said it from day one, is an unbelievable team and should win it all. But I'd sure love to be in that championship with them."
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The Gamecocks (35-0) still have to get through their Elite Eight matchup with 2-seed Maryland (28-6) at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville on Sunday (7 p.m., ESPN) to secure a spot in the Final Four. If South Carolina does go all the way to the national title, coach Dawn Staley will join Mulkey as one of five coaches in NCAA history to complete an undefeated season.
Mulkey, already penciling South Carolina in to the Final Four, lauded the SEC for landing 50% of the available spots. The conference had what was widely considered a "down year," but the LSU coach wasn't buying that narrative, and the performance of teams in the tournament backed her up.
"All (the SEC coaches) heard all year was how down the SEC was. What is down?" Mulkey said. "We had seven make it, four of the seven made it to the Sweet 16. How down is that? ... The greatest thing right now for me is we've got two SEC teams in the Final Four. Write that story."
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Why Kim Mulkey said South Carolina should win NCAA Tournament title