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South Carolina, UConn drawing support ahead of Final Four

Mar 27, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston (4) looks underneath against the Creighton Bluejays in the third quarter in the Greensboro regional finals of the women's college basketball NCAA Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina is drawing strong support ahead of its Final Four matchup against Louisville despite the top-ranked Gamecocks being a heavy favorite.

South Carolina (33-2) has been the No. 1-ranked women’s team in the nation most of the season and has held steady as a 7.5-point favorite at BetMGM. The Gamecocks have been backed by 63 percent of the spread bets and 71 percent of the handle at the sportsbook.

The line is 8.0 points at BetRivers, leading to 60 percent of the bets and 63 percent of the handle backing the Cardinals (29-4).

Louisville’s +260 moneyline ahead of Friday’s game has drawn more total bets at BetMGM at 63 percent, while South Carolina (-375) has been backed by 60 percent of the handle. BetRivers reported 99 percent of the moneyline handle backing the Gamecocks despite being offered at -420.

The other semifinal pits 11-time national champion Connecticut (29-5) against defending champion Stanford (32-3). UConn is making its 14th consecutive Final Four appearance, and the Huskies were the only No. 2 seed to do so this year.

The action on the 1.5-point spread at BetMGM has been split, with the favored Cardinal backed by 52 percent of the bets while the Huskies have been backed by 57 percent of the handle. The moneyline action has been flipped, with UConn supported by 58 percent of the bets at +100 after opening at -120 and Stanford moving from +100 to -120 while drawing 51 percent of the handle.

BetRivers reported that a third of the national title bets have been placed on South Carolina, with UConn a close second with 32 percent. Stanford had been supported by only 4 percent of the national title bets when the tournament began and Louisville had drawn just 1 percent of the bets.

Stanford defeated South Carolina in last year’s final. The Gamecocks’ two losses this season have come by a total of three points and South Carolina routed UConn by 16 points and beat Stanford by four points earlier this season.

After four games shooting 35 percent or under, the Gamecocks shot 50.9 percent in an 80-50 rout of Creighton in the regional final.

“We’re playing good basketball,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “Whether our shooting percentage is in the 30s or in the 50s, I don’t think we’re taking bad shots. So, if we’re taking bad shots, then we have issues.

“We’re just taking good shots that aren’t going in. At some point those shots will go in, and I thought they did a great job of finding them fall through the rim on Sunday. So, I hope that will remain the case.”

–Field Level Media