The most anticipated women's basketball game of the season will take place at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
No. 1 South Carolina (17-0, 5-0 SEC) plays at No. 9 LSU (18-2, 5-1) on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). College GameDay on ESPN will preview the matchup that will play an important role in determining the SEC regular season champion.
The picks are in — here's who women's basketball experts across the country think will emerge victorious from the matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers.
Corey Diaz, The Daily Advertiser
South Carolina 93, LSU 79: Whatever LSU faces defensively, South Carolina does very well on offense, namely shooting the three-ball and transition offense. Angel Reese and Aneesah Morrow haven't matched up with anyone this season like Kamilla Cardoso in the post. The LSU crowd will play early, but the Gamecocks will settle down and pull away.
Lindsey Schnell, USA Today
LSU 71, South Carolina 66: Track encounter or defensive battle? It's hard to know exactly what will happen when two of the most talented teams in the country collide, but I'm leaning toward LSU just because of where the game is played. As Arkansas coach Mike Gearan said, Tigers fans deserve 8-10 points. So I'll give a (very slight) advantage to LSU, but I wouldn't be surprised by any outcome.
Stefan Krajisnik, Clarion Ledger
South Carolina 78, LSU 75: This South Carolina team had the talent to make it big this season, but what was even more impressive was the way Staley's team played on the road. Baton Rouge will be a step up in terms of hostile environments, but I think the Gamecocks will be up to the challenge and eliminate any debate about who is the best team in the SEC.
David Eckert, Clarion Ledger
South Carolina 78, LSU 75. Although LSU's roster is loaded with elite scoring talent and its points-per-game average is the best in college basketball, South Carolina's offense has been more efficient. Despite significant roster turnover, Dawn Staley has built the best three-point shooting team in the country that also has the highest overall field goal percentage in the country. The Gamecocks' defense has been better, too. Winning in Baton Rouge won't be easy, but a new-look South Carolina team has what it takes.
Cora Hall, Knox News
South Carolina 85, LSU 76: If this wasn't a PMAC game, I'd expect a blowout win for South Carolina. But LSU will have home-field advantage, so the Tigers will hang in there and make the game exciting. The Gamecocks are too good, though — like, historically good, on both ends of the court — for LSU to pull off an upset and hand them their first loss of the season.
Emily Adams, Hartford Courant
South Carolina 81, LSU 72: The Gamecocks fall behind early thanks to a rowdy crowd in Baton Rouge, but the defense shuts down in the second half. Camila Cardoso recorded her 11th double-double of the season while holding Angel Reyes to under 20 points.
David Cloninger, Post and Courier
South Carolina 84, LSU 78: LSU relies on the ability to outpace the opposition. South Carolina excels over its opponents because it plays tough defense and scores goals.
Mark Schindler, Seven Star Digital
South Carolina 79, LSU 68: South Carolina once again became the best defensive team in the country while playing with new verve on offense. Everyone is a playmaker, they shoot the ball unbelievably, they dominate deep, and they own the glass.
LSU is a legitimate national title contender, but it has flaws. This team doesn't shoot the buzzer well or often from deep. They are strong defensively and can beat you in transition, but they can struggle in the half-court. This could be a huge step forward for LSU, or another continuity moment for South Carolina State — I'll count on the latter without discounting the former.
Carolyn Macauskas, Lexington Herald-Leader
South Carolina 89, LSU 76: South Carolina's new-look roster has done nothing but show that it can play together, tough, against some of the toughest competition in the country — while LSU, at times, still seems to find a way to thrive under pressure. The Tigers have everything they need to make this team competitive, but South Carolina's defense and rebounding should keep the Gamecocks undefeated.
Aria Gerson, Tennessee
South Carolina 89, LSU 80: Even though the game takes place in Baton Rouge, LSU is unproven against the type of top-tier teams that the Gamecocks have proven they can overcome. South Carolina's elite three-point shooting should travel well.
Alexis Cubitt, Courier Magazine
South Carolina 88, LSU 84: South Carolina is playing on another level now with young talent in Raven Johnson and Melisia Fulwaili, the full development of Camila Cardoso and transfer Te-Hina Paopao. It will be close because of all the talent LSU has as well, and the way it rebounded from a loss to Auburn — but the Gamecocks will have the final say against the defending champs in what is sure to give women's college basketball fans their money's worth.
Marissa Ingmi, San Francisco Chronicle
South Carolina 75, LSU 67: This isn't hate on LSU, because I think we've learned now not to doubt them – but I don't feel like I can pick against South Carolina until they show some cracks, which hasn't really happened for them this season. If anything, the Gamecocks have proven they are still the best in the country even without Aaliyah Boston. I won't doubt them until they make me.
“Devoted travel trailblazer. Freelance beer scholar. Passionate analyst. Hardcore twitter fanatic.”