Who can stop Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks?

By Rixon Lane

At 14-0, South Carolina's women's basketball team is off to the best start in program history. 

With 15 regular season games remaining and #1 national ranking, there is talk of whether the Gamecocks can run the table and complete an undefeated regular season. 

Here are the six teams who will likely pose the greatest challenges to South Carolina's unbeaten record.

Kentucky

Ranking: #10

Record: 13-2

Plays South Carolina: January 11th (Columbia), March 1st (Lexington)

The Wildcats will get two chances to knock off South Carolina this season. Kentucky has already shown its ability to overcome the top teams in the country, with wins over Baylor and Louisville. However, the Wildcats lost by 21 on the road against Duke, a place where the Gamecocks came away with a victory. If Kentucky comes up short on Sunday, the Wildcats will get a chance to score a big win on Senior Day in March. 


Texas A&M

Ranking: #9

Record: 14-2

Plays South Carolina: January 26th (Columbia)

The Aggies have had some close calls this season, beating UT Pan-American by two points and needing a buzzer-beater to escape against Arkansas. Despite their struggles at times, Texas A&M has found ways to win. A&M's only losses this year are a two-point home loss to Texas and a road defeat against a solid Washington team. The Aggies will have a tough road entering their matchup with the Gamecocks. They face Georgia in Athens four days before arriving in Columbia. 


Georgia

Ranking: #20

Record: 13-2

Plays South Carolina: February 5th (Athens)

The Bulldogs don't always put up points, but they compensate by having one of the stingiest defenses in college basketball. Georgia allows just 50.4 points per game and is one of the few defensive teams in the country on par with South Carolina. Fortunately for South Carolina, the Bulldogs will face the Gamecocks at the end of a brutal stretch. Over a 15-day period, Georgia will host Texas A&M, travel to Tennessee and Kentucky, and take on South Carolina.


Connecticut

Ranking: #2

Record: 12-1

Plays South Carolina: February 9th (Storrs)

The Huskies have been the benchmark in women's college basketball for over two decades. While South Carolina owns the top ranking, UConn is the team by which all others are measured. The Huskies only loss this year came in overtime on the road against Stanford in the second game of the year. UConn boasts one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, averaging over 88 points per game. South Carolina will need a near-perfect game to knock off the Huskies. 


Tennessee

Ranking: #7

Record: 12-2

Plays South Carolina: February 23rd (Knoxville)

The Volunteers are no stranger to the national spotlight and have continued to thrive even after the retirement of legendary head coach Pat Summitt. Tennessee combines stringent defense with ferocious rebounding, allowing just 51.4 points per game and pulling down nearly 42 rebounds per contest. The Vols will be battle-tested by the time they meet South Carolina. Tennessee will have faced 10 ranked opponents when South Carolina arrives. 


Mississippi State

Ranking: #14

Record: 17-0

Plays South Carolina: February 26th (Columbia)

Mississippi State has won more games than any team in the country. The Bulldogs have a relentless offense, scoring nearly 82 points per game this season. Mississippi State hasn't faced the same caliber of opponents as the other teams on this list, but the Bulldogs have been impressive in their victories this season. With a team that crashes the boards extremely well, Mississippi State is team that could give the Gamecocks one of their best games of the season.