Sports

After clinching 1st SEC title, No. 4 South Carolina faces big road test from No. 10 Lady Vols

  • South Carolina coach Dawn Staley celebrates with her team after South Carolina won the Southeastern Conference season title with a 67-56 win over Georgia in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

    South Carolina coach Dawn Staley celebrates with her team after South Carolina won the Southeastern Conference season title with a 67-56 win over Georgia in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tennessee coach Holly Warlick signals players during an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Baton Rouge, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Baton Rouge Advocate, Catherine Threlkeld)  MANDATORY CREDIT, -ONLIN, MAGAZINES OUT, INTERNET OUT, TV OUT, NO SALES, NO FOREIGNS. LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT (INCLUDING GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT, 225, 10/12, INREGISTER, LBI CUSTOM

    Tennessee coach Holly Warlick signals players during an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Baton Rouge, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/The Baton Rouge Advocate, Catherine Threlkeld) MANDATORY CREDIT, -ONLIN, MAGAZINES OUT, INTERNET OUT, TV OUT, NO SALES, NO FOREIGNS. LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT (INCLUDING GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT, 225, 10/12, INREGISTER, LBI CUSTOM  (The Associated Press)

  • South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, left, and Aleighsa Welch celebrate the team's 67-56 win over Georgia in an NCAAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won the Southeastern Conference title. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

    South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, left, and Aleighsa Welch celebrate the team's 67-56 win over Georgia in an NCAAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won the Southeastern Conference title. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)  (The Associated Press)

The lone regular-season matchup between No. 4 South Carolina and No. 10 Tennessee won't have any impact on the Southeastern Conference championship.

South Carolina (26-2, 14-1 SEC) clinched its first SEC title on Thursday with a 67-56 victory over Georgia. That removed any league championship implications from Sunday's meeting with Tennessee (23-5, 12-3) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

But the Gamecocks and Lady Vols say there's still plenty at stake in the regular-season finale for both teams. South Carolina guard Khadijah Sessions says "we've got to make sure we send the message that we're the best team in the SEC."

South Carolina is aiming for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Tennessee is seeking to clinch the No. 2 seed in the SEC tournament that starts Wednesday in Duluth, Ga.