Kamilla Cardoso attempts to block Angel Reese's shot.
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

LSU-South Carolina's Explosive Brawl Could Have Massive Ripple Effect

The explosive brawl between LSU and South Carolina in the SEC Tournament may have showed some things about the undefeated Gamecocks.

It's no secret that South Carolina will be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

But the explosive fight that took place Sunday in the SEC Championship Game against the defending champion LSU Tigers may have a ripple effect that will be felt throughout March Madness, and it may leave the 32-0 Gamecocks vulnerable and on upset alert.

In case you missed it, South Carolina's 6-foot-7 center, Kamilla Cardoso, shoved LSU's Flau'jae Johnson to the floor in the final minutes of Sunday's title game. Johnson's brother jumped the scorer's table and was escorted out of the arena in handcuffs, and both teams' benches were ejected. South Carolina won 79-72 to remain perfect on the season.

Now, I'd love to tell you that Cardoso being suspended for the Gamecocks' first-round game in the NCAA Tournament will matter, but it won't. South Carolina will crush whoever they play. It's what they did in the four games Cardoso missed this season, against Missouri, UConn, Alabama and Kentucky.

And the real takeaway isn't anything that LSU head coach Kim Mulkey or South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said after the game. What this fight did is show the cracks in South Carolina just before the big dance.

In back-to-back games of the SEC Tournament, South Carolina narrowly pulled out a win against Tennessee (thanks to some interesting defense against Cardoso's game-winning 3-pointer) and let LSU get under its skin. Tigers star Angel Reese was seen chirping at Cardoso all game and even appeared to pull her hair at one point.

Even more, this feud may have just lit a fire under LSU's ass. The Tigers were already riding a 10-game win streak before the loss, and now they have extra motivation for a rematch against the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament. If you thought what transpired between Reese and Caitlin Clark in last year's championship game was heated, just wait until these teams see each other again.

Don't believe me? Look at what Reese said after the game:

And it won't be just LSU. Anyone who plays South Carolina now has extra motivation and a blueprint to agitate Cardoso and the rest of the Gamecocks. On paper, South Carolina may be unbeatable. But make it personal? It's a whole new ballgame.

Then again, South Carolina could simply run the table as everyone's expecting. Either way, get your popcorn ready.

MORE: Kim Mulkey Bashes Officials After LSU-South Carolina Fight