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      South Carolina top seed in Stanford Regional

      Columbia, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina will have to travel west and potentially play Stanford on its home floor to earn a trip to the Final Four. Coach Dawn Staley's team earned the first No. 1 seed in school history. They will open up against Cal State Northridge in the first round in Seattle.

      Stanford is the second seed and will head to Ames, Iowa to play the first two rounds. Penn State is the three seed and North Carolina the four. The Gamecocks and Tar Heels played in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 18 and North Carolina came away with a 74-66 victory.

      South Carolina (27-4) had won its most games in 34 years and earned its first-ever Southeastern Conference title. Yet, a loss at Tennessee to end the regular season followed by a semifinals exit at the league tournament seemed to damage their chances at a top seed. But it was the Gamecock players jumping up and hugging one another in celebration when their name popped up atop the Stanford Region.

      Staley said she would give her players until Tuesday's practice to enjoy the first-of-its kind moment. It was South Carolina's third straight NCAA trip under Staley and its 11th overall. For Staley, it's her ninth NCAA appearance as a coach. The Hall of Famer led Virginia to three Final Fours as one of the game's best players.