The Gamecocks finished fourth in the SEC with a 12-6 conference record, two spots behind Florida.
Florida will face SEC-foe SC in the Elite Eight on Sunday. They're all pretty fundamentally sound.
"It's just a surreal moment", said Martin, whose team will face Gonzaga in the national semifinals. And Kotsar will be reunited with his parents, who have never seen him play in person in college, but plan to be in attendance at the Final Four. Steals, too, have helped Frank Martin's team, as its aggressive defense is once again giving its offense more chances to get points in transition - an aspect of basketball that Florida knows the value of so very well.
If it were a military skirmish, it would be hand-to-hand combat.
On Madison Square Garden's fifth floor, on a makeshift dais, Frank Martin was in a storytelling mood. They were two evenly paired boxers throwing all they had in their arsenal.
The Gators built a 7-point halftime lead against SC on the strength of 7 for 12 3-point shooting. The Gators missed all 17 of their 3-point attempts and KeVaughn Allen, Florida's first-team All-SEC guard, scored one point.
In many ways, it was the first meeting - a 57-53 SC win on January 18 - that set the stage for Sunday's matchup.
One reason the Gamecocks are going to Arizona for the Final Four, is that they have senior Sindarius Thornwell.More news: Tipping Off: On to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament
The chant "S-E-C" so well known around football across the South is coming to the Elite Eight. Only five games to go until Thornwell and A'ja Wilson can recreate that Emeka Okafor-Diana Taurasi ESPN the Magazine cover. "If we had called a timeout, who knows what (Wisconsin coach) Greg (Gard) does and how they line up and match up and what type of defense that we see". "It's a good feeling when we continue to make history and I think once we get a taste of it, we kind of get addicted and want to continue doing it". He has touch in and around the basket.
DJ Dozier and Chris Silva had 12 points each and Notice added 11 for the Gamecocks.
"I talked to Coach D and Coach D was like you can trust this man", Robinson said. "I'm the luckiest person in the world". A Wildcats win would put two SEC teams to the Final Four for the fifth time ever and the second time in four seasons (2014: Florida, Kentucky).
There were some tears on Dad's part, and no doubt some heartfelt regret from the Gators' coach about missing out on his first big opportunity to reach the Final Four.
Gonzaga and SC will play a tough, defensive-minded game. "They defend as such a high level". Mason and VCU were content making the Final Four.
Gonzaga has not only played the best defense in this tournament, the Zags have the best defense in school history and the best in America this season. SC is my former team. They don't have any of that give-up DNA in them. Like when they are about to shoot free throws, the other team about to shoot free throws, she'll pull me over and tell me what needs to be done.
The most anticipated game of the Elite 8 between Kentucky and North Carolina lived up to expectations. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.