The South Carolina Gamecock men’s basketball team have had a season for the ages this year. They entered the NCAA tournament having not won a game since 1973. They now find themselves one win away from their first-ever NCAA championship game appearance.
The Gamecocks have become the darlings of the NCAA tournament dispatching heavily favored teams like the Baylor Bears and the highly touted Duke Blue Devils. They have won with a combination of a pedal to the medal efficient offense and tenacious defense that entirely suffocates the opponent, SEC Country reports. Head coach Frank Martin has his team firing on all cylinders right now and they definitely look the part worthy of a NCAA champion.
— SEC Country SC (@SECCountrySC) March 26, 2017
The Gamecocks are led by SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell and sophomore point guard PJ Dozier. Both players are currently projected to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft if Dozier decides to forego his junior year at South Carolina. They beat their SEC east rivals the Florida Gators on Sunday afternoon to advance to the program’s first-ever Final Four. Sindarius Thornwell led all scorers for the Gamecocks with 25 points and Dozier chipped in 17. The win against Florida in the Elite Eight is by far the biggest win in the history of the South Carolina program and its significance will show through recruiting over the next several years.
One of the best high school players in the country, Zion Williamson, is from South Carolina and is considering signing with the Gamecocks after his senior year is over next year. In state basketball programs have had trouble keeping homegrown talent but with the way South Carolina has been rolling through the tournament that should no longer be a problem for them.
South Carolina will go on to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Final Four this Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. Gonzaga is another program that seems to be a team of destiny because they will also be playing in their first ever NCAA Final Four. The Bulldogs have been led by head coach Mark Few for the past 28 seasons and have made the NCAA tournament 19 consecutive times.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 26, 2017
Gonzaga has come really close in recent years at one point making the Sweet Sixteen three years in a row but this season has been a revelation. They have a 36-1 record and at one point during the season they were the number one ranked team in the nation. To say it’s shocking that the Bulldogs have made it this deep into the tournament would not be fair to Gonzaga and would be a total discredit to what they’ve accomplished this season. They belong here, as do the South Carolina Gamecocks, even though most basketball experts had predicted both teams would be ousted in the earlier rounds.
March Madness brackets have been busted everywhere with the way this year’s NCAA tournament has unfolded. No one could have imagined that the South Carolina Gamecock basketball team would be making their way to the Final Four. They are the definition and epitome of a “Cinderella” team. They have marched through their opponents like a team on a mission to show the world what they’re made of. They bring the toughness and defensive tenacity that is a true reflection of their fiery head coach Frank Martin.
“…just let him cry, if the tears fall down like rain.”
South Carolina is in Final 4…wow pic.twitter.com/NwJ8jXFaZl
— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) March 26, 2017
Famous country singer and South Carolina alum Darius Rucker was seen crying in the stands as the South Carolina Gamecocks punched their ticket to their first ever Final Four. All eyes will be on the Gamecocks on Saturday to see if they can continue this magical run and continue to capture the hearts of even the most casual basketball fan. Go Gamecocks, Go!
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