Greensboro Regional breakdown

South Carolina is the No. 1 seed in nearby Greensboro, but fourth-seeded North Carolina and 2-seed Florida State are also right at home.

The ACC's headquarters are in Greensboro, North Carolina, and five of the league's teams -- including the Tar Heels and Seminoles -- reached the Sweet 16. The ACC women's tournament has been played in Greensboro Coliseum since 2000. The Tar Heels have won four league tournament titles in that arena; the Seminoles just played in their first ACC final there on March 8, losing to Notre Dame.

The Sun Devils have a history in Greensboro Coliseum, too. They made the Elite Eight there in 2007, but fell to a Rutgers team that had upset Duke in the Sweet 16.

The Greensboro Regional -- along with Oklahoma City -- also represents a half of the NCAA bracket that really showcases coaching continuity. In Greensboro, the coach who has been at her school the shortest amount of time is Dawn Staley, who's in her seventh season at South Carolina, and 15th overall as a college coach.

Joining Staley in this quarter of the draw are Sylvia Hatchell (29th year at North Carolina, 40th overall), Charli Turner-Thorne (18th season at Arizona State, 21st overall) and Sue Semrau (18th season at Florida State and overall).

North Carolina has been to the Final Four in 1994, 2006 and 2007. But South Carolina, Florida State and Arizona State are still looking for their programs' breakthrough to the final weekend of the season. But Staley made such a breakthrough while a player at Virginia, leading the Cavaliers to their three Final Four appearances in 1990, '91 and '92.

No. 1 seed South Carolina vs. No. 4 seed North Carolina

ESPN/WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET Friday

Flashback: These teams met twice in 2013-14, including in the Sweet 16, and North Carolina won both times. A lot of the personnel is the same, but there are some very notable differences. For one thing, Hatchell is back on the sideline after battling leukemia last year.

Diamond DeShields, the Tar Heels' leading scorer last season at 18.0 PPG, transferred to Tennessee. And Xylina McDaniel, who averaged 11.3 PPG in 2013-14 for the Tar Heels, has been out since December with a leg injury. Those two combined for 31 points and 13 rebounds in the first victory over South Carolina last year, which was played in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in December 2013.

In the Sweet 16 at Stanford in March 2014, McDaniel struggled to score, finishing with just one point, but she had six rebounds. And DeShields was a big thorn in the Gamecocks' side, finishing with 19 points.

The freshman sensation in this matchup belongs to South Carolina: wing player A'ja Wilson, who is averaging 13.3 points and 6.8 rebounds off the bench. She leads South Carolina in blocked shots with 59.

What, ultimately, was the key for the Tar Heels in beating the Gamecocks last season? In both games, South Carolina got off to a slow start and trailed at halftime, then fell short trying to rally. Admittedly, both games were a long time ago, but rest assured the results are still pretty fresh in the minds of the returning players who participated.

Coates' climb: Looking back on those games last year is also a reminder of how swiftly South Carolina center Alaina Coates improved in her freshman season. In the December game against the Tar Heels, she played nine minutes and didn't score. But in March, she was a major factor in the Gamecocks' comeback attempt, with game highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Like last season, Coates continues to come off the bench for South Carolina -- she has started just six games total in her two years -- which means she is a big weapon to have in reserve. This season, Coates is averaging 10.3 points, third best on the team, and leads the Gamecocks with 8.0 rebounds per game.

Copy cats? Sophomores Stephanie Mavunga and Allisha Gray have had to carry a lot of weight for the Tar Heels this season, and both have come through. Gray leads the team in scoring (15.9 PPG) and is second in rebounding (7.6 RPG). Mavunga is the top rebounder (9.5) and is second in scoring (14.5).

But among the issues they and the rest of the Tar Heels have to face Friday is how well can they collectively defend the Gamecocks? They don't have near South Carolina's size (few teams do), but as is typically the case, the Tar Heels have a great deal of perimeter quickness.

To that end, North Carolina can look at what Kentucky did against the Gamecocks this season. The Wildcats were bounced out of the NCAA tournament in the second round by Dayton, but they played South Carolina about as well as any team save UConn. The Gamecocks had to scrap to beat Kentucky 68-60 in January, and then were upset by the Wildcats 67-56 in the regular-season finale in March.

Pick: South Carolina

No. 2 seed Florida State vs. No. 3 seed Arizona State

ESPN2/WatchESPN, 9 p.m. ET Friday

Equal opportunity: Both the Seminoles and the Sun Devils spread out their offenses, with no player for either squad averaging more than 12.3 points per game. All five of the Florida State starters, led by junior post player Adut Bulgak, score in double figures. Sophomore forward Sophie Brunner (11.9) is Arizona State's leading scorer.

Florida State looks to shoot 3-pointers more often; the Seminoles are 205 of 587 from long range, compared to 162 of 451 for the Sun Devils. But Arizona State defends behind the arc well, holding opponent to 25.1 percent from there, which is fourth-best in Division I. The Seminoles have out-rebounded every opponent this season, and they win the battle on the boards by an average of almost 13 per game.

All of these things -- scoring depth, versatility and second-chance opportunities -- are why Florida State is so difficult to beat. The Sun Devils' defense needs to try to keep the Seminoles from making the game a track meet, too, lest Florida State's offense runs away with it. The Seminoles are very comfortable with a fast pace, and they have the depth to keep it up.

Christmas present: No team got a bigger addition in the midst of the season than Florida State, which found out in December that guard Leticia Romeo would be eligible to play this season. The school had petitioned on her behalf that she not have to sit out the customary entire transfer season after the extended difficulty she had in the spring in trying to obtain her release from Kansas State.

Florida State was very pleasantly surprised when it got the news, and Romero had no problem transitioning quickly from a practice player to an active one. She's averaging 10.5 points per game. And despite playing in just 22 of Florida State's 35 games, she leads the team in assists with 119.

Beware of starting slowly: The Sun Devils showed all kinds of gumption in rallying from a 16-point deficit to edge Arkansas-Little Rock 57-54 in the second round. Arizona State got big plays from Brunner, Elisha Davis and Promise Amukamara.

But the Sun Devils can't afford another lackluster first half like they had against UALR, when they scored just 17 points. As good as Arizona State's defense can be, it would be very difficult for the Sun Devils to rally if they get into too deep a hole.

But by the same token, if Florida State gets into a rut of settling too much for jump shots, the Sun Devils could flatten the Seminoles' offense.

Pick: Florida State