It's not surprising to see the Wildcats and Gators, who have a combined three titles since 2006, moving on to the Sweet 16. After a thrilling 88-81 defeat of Duke Sunday night in the NCAA round of 32 in Greenville, the once moribund program now moves on to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
"Yeah, we believed", Jones said. "Whether it's the 3-ball or not, it's finding multiple different ways to win and taking what the game gives us".
SC goes on to meet third-seeded Baylor in the East Region semifinals Friday night at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Of course, the political aspect of the site changing from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Greenville - HB2 - is well known by now, and it again became a major talking point after Duke and SC won their respective first-round games, setting up a virtual road game for the second-seeded Blue Devils. No one saw a 65-point second half pummeling coming.
"I told the guys at halftime, someone's got to have the courage and make shots", SC coach Frank Martin said.
Duke: The Blue Devils at times appeared rudderless in their first - and now, only - game without Lambert.
Thornwell averaged 21.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season and was labeled the "best, unheralded, great player in the United States" by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski earlier this week.
The Blue Devils weren't able to pull away from the Gamecocks in the first half despite being the better team.
The Gamecocks missed just eight shots in the second half, hit 4-of-5 triples and shot 91.3 percent from the charity stripe to storm past the Blue Devils. Once again, Allen found his range from deep as he knocked down five three-pointers on nine attempts, while also tacking on five rebounds and four assists. "We have won games like that", said sophomore guard Luke Kennard, who made just one field goal in 28 minutes and fouled out with 11 points.
Chris Silva and Duane Notice pumped in 17 apiece and Rakym Felder provided 15 points for SC (24-10).
The Duke Blue Devils are the most talented team in the country, and despite their stretch of bad basketball in the middle of the season they are finally starting to show it. Duke has won five straight games including an ACC conference championship, and has covered the spread in all five.
"We've done it before". We thought we could. "The shots just didn't fall today. We couldn't find enough energy to muster up".
The game in Greenville is considered a neutral site game but it will virtually be a home game for the Gamecocks due to Columbia, being only 103 miles away and many UNC fans that plan on staying after their early game to cheer against their Tobacco Road rival. "And just to say thank you". And yet, they're still going, still alive in the NCAA Tournament.
The last time the tourney was in SC was in 2002, also in Greenville. Two 3-pointers in a row from the Gamecocks sent the crowd to their feet and forced the Sun Devils to take a time out. "Aren't you glad I didn't do that?"
Arkansas whipped Seton Hall 77-71 while SC downed Marquette 93-73 in opening round games. Now, they're looking to advance to the Elite Eight with another victory. Cincinnati reached 30 wins for the second time with its win over Kansas State, joining the 2001-02 team. How will the young guys like Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, and Harry Giles respond to this kind of situation? Naturally, let's take a look at South Carolina's next opponent, Baylor.
The perennial collapse of the Duke University men's college basketball team in the NCAA tournament is a consistent source of solace to freedom-loving Americans everywhere. "They made more plays".
At Flight Beer Garden and Music Hall, more than 100 fans tuned in for the Gamecocks meeting with Duke, some holding their seat more than four hours before tipoff.
Instead, almost 600 people packed the music hall. Lewis will play a pivotal role in how the Bulldogs go about beating North Carolina. The restaurant on Central Avenue regularly hosts the Carolina Alumni Club, but gained an added boost with each Tar Heel win. He was allowed back after one game and things were up and down the rest of the way.