Over the past couple years South Carolina men’s basketball has been on the rise. Last year many said the Gamecocks should have made the NCAA tournament. However, despite the competitiveness of those teams, whenever thrust into the spotlight those teams shied away. That is what made this game against Florida so big for South Carolina.
Going into last night the Cocks were 14-3, but undefeated with Sindarius Thornwell in the lineup. Florida was also 14-3, ranked #19 in the country, and tied with South Carolina for 2nd place in the SEC. This game was a chance to prove that this team is for real.
After being scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the game… scoring picked up, but South Carolina trailed by 7 at the half. It looked like another game in which Carolina couldn’t take the pressure. However, in the second half the defense locked in and the Gamecocks grinded out a win 57-53.
This was an incredibly ugly basketball game, but it was a game that South Carolina would lose in the past. Again it was Sindarius Thornwell leading the team with 20 points. The team was also carried by a packed and rowdy Colonial Life Arena, and Coach Frank Martin took notice.
A salty Florida fan decided to tweet that “nobody cares” about the fact that South Carolina is the only program in the country with undefeated men’s and women’s basketball teams in conference play and the only program that averages 12,000+ fans per game for both men’s and women’s.
Even over Twitter I would not want this man yelling at me.