Who faces suspension at LSU and South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament aftermath of the explosive brawl during the SEC Championship final? A fitting outcome for those who stirred the trouble.

Kamilla Cardoso (right) will miss the first game of the NCAA Tournament after being ejected for fighting

Kamilla Cardoso (right) will miss the first game of the NCAA Tournament after being ejected for fighting (


Image: ESPN)

South Carolina will be without superstar Kamilla Cardoso for its first-round game in the NCAA Tournament after chaos in the fourth quarter of its SEC Tournament final win over LSU.

Benches from both teams cleared in the fourth quarter as a massive fight broke out between the two teams. Cardoso was ejected after shoving Flau’jae Johnson to the ground following Johnson’s intentional foul on MiLaysia Fulwiley.

Players from both benches entered the court, as well as a fan reported by ESPN to be the brother of Johnson, who was escorted away in handcuffs. It took several minutes for order to be restored before attentions turned to assessing punishments.

After a 20-minute delay to consult video replays, officials ejected every member of both benches for coming onto the court, except for South Carolina’s Te-Hina Paopao. It was initially claimed on the ESPN broadcast that all of those ejected would miss the first-round games of the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

However, it was later clarified that only Cardoso would be punished by being suspended for the next game because she was ejected for fighting. Those ejected for coming onto the court will likely be eligible to play.

If those ejected from the benches had been banned from the NCAA Tournament opener, it would have left LSU with just five players available for the game and South Carolina down to only six players. That situation has been avoided, but South Carolina losing Cardoso will be a massive blow for Dawn Staley’s team.

Cardoso has been an important player for South Carolina this season
Cardoso has been an important player for South Carolina this season 
Image:
Getty Images)
Cardoso has averaged 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 turnovers per game for the Gamecocks this season. The center scored eight points before being ejected in the SEC Tournament final.

Earlier in the game, Cardoso, who hit a buzzer-beater to win a dramatic semi-final match-up against Tennessee, was struck in the face by Angel Reese. The LSU star was assessed for an intentional foul as the Gamecocks were given two free throws and possession.

South Carolina overcame the loss of Cardoso and other ejections against LSU to win 79-72 and continue its perfect season. The Gamecocks enter the NCAA Tournament with a 32-0 record.

They have now beaten LSU twice this season. The Tigers, who won last season’s NCAA Tournament, are now 28-5.

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