Kamilla Cardoso’s Banked Three Kept South Carolina’s Perfect Season Alive At The Buzzer Against Tennessee

For all of the individual stars that have dominated headlines in women’s college basketball this season, led by Caitlin Clark in Iowa and Juju Watkins at USC, it’s once again been the South Carolina Gamecocks that have been the dominant team in the sport.

South Carolina entered Saturday’s SEC Tournament semifinal against Tennessee at a perfect 30-0 on the season, with only a handful of close calls on the year, but the Lady Vols were up for the challenge and pushed the Gamecocks to the brink in Greenville. South Carolina jumped out to an early 19-6 lead after the first quarter and led by 13 at the half, but Tennessee steadily reeled them in the fourth quarter, pulling ahead by two in the final seconds.

The Gamecocks needed a miracle to get a win with 1.1 seconds on the clock, inbounding the ball from just beyond halfcourt, and got it in the form of the first career three-pointer from center Kamilla Cardoso, who was unguarded at the top of the key. Cardoso caught the inbounds pass, stepped behind the line, turned, and fired up a shot that banked in as the buzzer sounded, keeping the Gamecocks record perfect.

It’s an unbelievable shot made more incredible by the fact Cardoso had never made a three in her four seasons prior to this. Tennessee has gotten lit up by many for not guarding Cardoso at all, but it’s somewhat understandable as she’s not supposed to be a shooting threat and the focus was denying anything at the rim and keeping shooters from getting open off screens. Unfortunately, playing the numbers leaves yourself vulnerable to some March madness, and the result was despair from the Lady Vols on the floor and on the bench.

Two of the most prominent alums of these schools play together in the WNBA, and Candace Parker tried calling up A’ja Wilson to gloat about Tennessee’s win a bit prematurely, only for that to backfire spectacularly as Wilson captured on social media.

As they say, it ain’t over til it’s over, even if the person shooting the ball has never made that shot in her career before. There’s no time like the present, and now South Carolina’s quest for a perfect season can continue.