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Top-seed South Carolina leads Seattle regional into NCAA Tournament

  • NCAA South Carolina Basketball-1.jpg

    South Carolina guard Tiffany Mitchell puts up a shot during practice at the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Seattle. South Carolina is scheduled to play Cal State Northridge in a first-round game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

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    Cal State Northridge guard Haley White shoots during practice at the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Seattle. Cal State Northridge plays South Carolina in a first-round game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

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    Cal State Northridge guard Breeyon Alexander, center, stretches with teammates during practice at the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Seattle. Cal State Northridge plays South Carolina in a first-round game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • NCAA South Carolina Basketball-4.jpg

    South Carolina guard Tiffany Mitchell reaches for a pass during practice at the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Seattle. South Carolina is scheduled to play Cal State Northridge in a first-round game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

  • NCAA South Carolina Basketball-5.jpg

    South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, right, gestures toward her players as they practice during the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Seattle. South Carolina is scheduled to play Cal State Northridge in a first-round game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

When it comes to the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, South Carolina is the new kid on the block.

The Gamecocks (27-4) earned a top seed for the first time in school history after winning the Southeastern Conference regular season championship. While fellow top seeds Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame have proven to be perennial national powers, South Carolina is on the rise under head coach Dawn Staley.

After losing just twice over the first four months of the season, South Carolina lost two of their final three games entering the tournament. The Gamecocks lost 73-61 at Tennessee to close the regular season and fell 68-58 to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament.

The losses ultimately didn't derail South Carolina's hopes of earning a No. 1 seed.

The Gamecocks will play No. 16 seed Cal State Northridge in the first round on Sunday. No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee State will face No. 9 seed Oregon State in the other game in the Seattle regional.