Tiffany Mitchell drove to the basket and scored with 4.2 seconds remaining, and South Carolina edged North Carolina, 67-65, on Friday night in the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in Greensboro, N.C.
Mitchell finished with 18 points for the No. 1-seeded Gamecocks (33-2), who had to fight the entire way to push past UNC in a rematch of last year's Sweet 16 game and advanced to the Greensboro Regional final.
Alaina Coates also scored 18 points, including two key free throws for the lead with 46.1 seconds to go. Then Mitchell, the Southeastern Conference player of the year, answered a tying basket from Jessica Washington in the final minute by driving past Brittany Rountree for what turned out to be the winning score.
Fourth-seeded UNC (26-9) had one more chance, but freshman Jamie Cherry's desperation runner hit all backboard.
South Carolina had reached the Elite Eight only once before, losing to Duke in 2002. Now Dawn Staley's Gamecocks are back to face the Arizona State-Florida State winner on Sunday to go to the Final Four.
The Tar Heels led, 63-60, with about 90 seconds left but couldn't quite close out the Gamecocks.
Okla. City Regional
Notre Dame 81, Stanford 60 -
Lindsay Allen scored a career-high 28 points to help the top-seeded Fighting Irish defeat the Cardinal in the Sweet 16 in the Oklahoma City semifinals.
Jewell Loyd scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half for Notre Dame (34-2), which will play Baylor (33-3) on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four. The Fighting Irish beat Baylor, 88-69, in a regional final last year.
Bonnie Samuelson scored 17 points, and Erica McCall and Amber Orrange each added 12 for No. 4 seed Stanford (26-10).
It was the first postseason meeting for veteran coaches Tara VanDerveer of Stanford and Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame, and just the third-ever meeting between the schools. Stanford won the previous meetings in 1990 and 1991.
Baylor 81, Iowa 66 - Sune Agbuke had a career-high 23 points and the Bears advanced to the Elite Eight for the fifth time in six years by beating the Hawkeyes (26-8) in Oklahoma City.
Nina Davis added 20 points and Niya Johnson had 16 assists for the No. 2-seeded Bears (33-3).
California (Pa.( 86, California Baptist 79 -
The Vulcans won the NCAA Division II national title for the second time in program history by beating the Lancers at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
California finished with a 32-4 overall record and joined the 2004 Vulcans as the only basketball national champions from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
California Baptist was 29-7 in its second year as a full member of NCAA Division II.