SC defeats Florida in Elite Eight match

"We're not satisfied with just winning one game or this game", said Southeastern Conference player of the year Sindarius Thornwell after the Gamecocks advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1973.

Four-seed Florida Gators basketball (27-9) saw its season come to an end on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, as it got completely outplayed in the second half by the seven-seed South Carolina Gamecocks (26-10). He's been the steady factor for the Gamecocks, which was evident when SC went 3-3 in the six games Thornwell missed early in the year.

Any why not? SC is a great story.

Gasaway isn't the only person who is in awe at this run by Frank Martin's squad. It's all there for the national media.

The miracle season rolls on for the South Carolina Gamecocks. We all grew up in SC. We'll find out tonight.

But just like when the Gators gave up a halftime lead of the same size in Columbia earlier this year, Florida could not make shots down the stretch against a Gamecocks defense that wrapped itself around the throat, and eventually lay limp on the canvas, loser of a 77-70 game that was as much prize fight as shooting contest. Martin's team scored 82 points per game in four East Regional games, including a 93-point explosion against Marquette and an 88-point outing against Duke.

"As a kid you dream about moments like this and for it to be here is a blessing", Bears guard King McClure said.

If you watched that game, you never got a sense that the Gamecocks were out of it. They hadn't even been in the tournament since 2004.

"Gamecock Nation, we heard you loud and clear", coach Frank Martin roared as the team prepared to cut down the nets.

Why? The Gamecocks were a team that was inconsistent all season long. What's clear is this: They believe. We have a lovely arena that seats 18,000 people.

SC is in the Final Four. And I'm not talking about ancient history here. "I've been real mad and mean with those guys". Sin City himself had the privilege of being featured on the mag Thursday, which details Thornwell's beginnings in Lancaster to where is his now.

Thornwell did that for his state, and he wasn't alone. "When he wasn't starring for Lancaster or on the AAU circuit, Thornwell was toughening up in pickup games against 30- and 40-year-old men on an outdoor court known as The Hilltop, right next to Distinguished Kuts barbershop".

He's the SEC Player of the Year, so naturally, Baylor's scouting reporting centers around USC's unquestioned leader. The Gamecocks' fifth-year head coach has been deeply introspective in his public comments this month, and he was emotional on the court after his team clinched its Final Four spot. And leads his team in everything. Williams leads in rebounds with 6.6 while Williams-Goss tops in assists with 4.6 and in steals with 1.8 per game.

  • Julie Sanders