Gamecocks head to unfamiliar territory in Seattle - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Gamecocks head to unfamiliar territory in Seattle


Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are leaving Friday night for Seattle for their first appearance as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The Gamecocks will play their first game in the tournament at the Alaska Airlines Arena, home of the Washington Huskies.

While it's not the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena, Staley and the team will need to recreate some of that home court magic in Seattle.

What's even stranger, though, is that the Washington Huskies aren't even in this year's tournament.

Huskies coach Mike Neighbors says it's tough on his team.

"I'm disappointed for our kids, not in them, that they're not going to get to experience it," said Neighbors. "It has been on our goal sheet since day one."

With the host team out, what does that mean for fan interest? With South Carolina coming to town, Neighbors says it will help drum up local support for the games.

"I'm excited that they're here and to have a number one seed, but it's really good for our fan base," said Neighbors. They're really knowledgeable. They know Dawn. They're going to know these people. They're going to know this team."

Neighbors understands without his program playing, it's difficult to fill all 10,000 seats in the arena. Still, he's confident Seattle is a women's basketball town and fans will show up.

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