The first fender bender. SC lost its first game, against Alabama, in the SEC Tournament and was 2-5 in its seven games before the NCAAs. Safe to say the Gamecocks have perfected their demonic style of bad intent, raw hustle and remarkable rotation defense into a Wes Craven-like horror flick.
For the Gamecocks, a first ever trip to the Final Four is forty minutes away. "I've seen how it struck a lot of top players".
Kentucky is headed to the Elite 8 to play North Carolina in the South Region final. They play fourth-seeded Florida (27-8) on Sunday at The Garden for the right to go the Gamecocks' first Final Four.
"What our team has been doing in this tournament, we've been doing it all season", SC guard Sindarius Thornwell said. SC is fourth in the category (90.9), while Florida is 11th (93.2).
"SEC basketball, do we have some momentum?", Florida's Mike White said after the Gators beat Wisconsin on a 3-point buzzer-beater in overtime by Chris Chiozza to beat Wisconsin 84-83.
Both are good stories, as is the one at Gonzaga, whose days as a lovable underdog ended at around the time "American Idol" was still going strong. "But first game, second game, third game, I feel like you're always going to be kind of nervous playing here, just due to the history of basketball in this arena". "Maybe not nationally in the media, but most certainly in that room from the selection committee because they put five teams in and the lowest was nine". "Those coaches, those players that we fought against every single day got these guys prepared to harden, to understand how hard and how disciplined you have to play to have a chance to win at this time of year".
Ole Miss beat the Gamecocks in the regular season finale. SC won the first meeting, 57-53, in Columbia, S.C.
Key stat: The Wildcats have forced opponents to shoot 30.8 percent from 3-point range this season, ranking 12th nationally.More news: Xavier stuns Arizona with late surge, advances to Elite Eight
The Gators have also won several other national championships in other sports in the last decade, including men's track and field, women's gymnastics, softball and women's swimming and diving. In fact, it's now quite easy to watch CBS online, and therefore to watch Kentucky vs North Carolina online. "For the fans that come all the way out from SC to NY, it's great for everyone".
South Carolina's defensive style may turn some off as not "beautiful basketball", but it is lovely to the Gamecocks. "We're playing the Florida Gators and our focus should be playing a team that we have played twice, playing a team that we beat and playing a team that beat us, too".
"We know he's going to get his", Chiozza said. We know the guys' tendencies.
"A team that's really good in that situation, why would you call a timeout and let them do what they're really good at?"
That will be the intangible key.
The 2,392nd defensive possession of the season for the Badgers was far from flawless.
"We knew they were an unbelievable team", Butler forward Andrew Chrabascz said of the Tar Heels after the Bulldogs fell, 82-70. What does this say about the future of the league and the 2017-18 Alabama basketball team? We're physical because we don't get out of the way.