The run to the 2017 NCAA Tournament‘s Final Four by the South Carolina men’s basketball team has made for one heck of a re-write for the school’s record books.
And, once again, the women’s team is also there.
Just days before South Carolina takes on Gonzaga in the men’s Final Four and Stanford in the women’s, SEC Country takes a look at some of the best moments in Gamecock athletics history.
Below are 10 of the best moments in South Carolina sports history. Enjoy.
Omaha x 2
Repeats ain’t easy, just ask anybody who’s tried to win a title the year after winning a title. South Carolina’s baseball team pulled it off in 2011, after winning the school’s first national championship in 2010. Ray Tanner, Michael Roth, Jackie Bradley Jr., Scott Wingo … the list goes on, but those are just a few of the names that helped solidify South Carolina as a college baseball powerhouse.
Capital of College Hoops
South Carolina is just the 10th school in college basketball history have both its men and women playing in the Final Four. Dawn Staley and the women’s team were here just two years ago, but this is uncharted territory for Frank Martin and the men.
The women, a No. 1 seed, were supposed to make the Final Four, though their run is a little more impressive when considering they’re without All-SEC center Alaina Coates. For the seventh-seeded men’s team, wins over Duke, Baylor and Florida, three of the top four seeds in the East Region, paved their way to Glendale, Ariz.
Strike a pose
As a junior, Rogers rushed for 1,681 yards, was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy vote. Rogers went on to rush for 1,781 yards as a senior and was award the Heisman Trophy. In the 1981 NFL Draft, he was taken with the top overall pick by the New Orleans Saints.
“They’re a good team that continues not playing very well against us.”
During the stretch, Clemson committed 15 turnovers while South Carolina had just 3. The Gamecocks scored 62 points off those turnovers. Clemson came away with none.
There were plenty of ups and downs throughout the career of former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia. None was better than the 2010 upset of No. 1 Alabama at Williams-Brice Stadium. Garcia threw 3 touchdown passes as the No. 19-ranked Gamecocks upset the Crimson Tide 35-21.
Oh, so sweet
Big, bad Duke took quite a second half beating from South Carolina in the second-round at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. Five Gamecocks scored in double-digits, including SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell, who had a game-high 24 points.
The win gave South Carolina its first trip to the Sweet 16, where they met Baylor, the third victim on the Gamecocks path to the Final Four.
Staley, Dawn Staley
In her first season as head coach of the South Carolina women’s basketball team, the Gamecocks finished 10-18 (2-12 SEC). Three years later, in the 2011-12 season, they made it to the Sweet 16. Three more years later, South Carolina was in the Final Four.
Down go the Cats
Devan Downey scored 30 points as South Carolina upset No. 1 Kentucky, 68-62 in Columbia. That Kentucky team featured future NBA lottery picks John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
Signing Day 2011 came and went without Jadeveon Clowney announcing where he would play college football. A 5-star defensive end from Rock Hill, S.C., Clowney went back and forth among South Carolina, Clemson and Alabama before announcing where he was headed on Feb. 14.
“I was very close to going to Clemson,” Clowney said. “Clemson really had me thinking and I wasn’t sure. I watched what they did on signing day, and they got some great players. My mom liked them, but in the end I wanted to play in the SEC.”
Spurrier, one of the most iconic names in college football, wanted to bring his talents back to the SEC after less than stellar attempt to call ball plays in the NFL. After a decade at South Carolina, he left as the winningest coach in school history.