South Carolina basketball is coming off likely the biggest weekend in program history, but the love isn’t coming from Vegas.
Heading into Friday night’s game against Baylor, the Gamecocks have the second-worst odds to win the national title. According to Bovada, the Gamecocks are a 50/1 longshot to claim the 2017 NCAA Tournament title. Only Xavier at 75/1 has worse odds.
The Gamecocks also are a 3.5-point underdog against Baylor, but that is where the Gamecocks like to be.
To top it off, CBS Sports re-ranked the Sweet 16 teams and pegged South Carolina as No. 16 of 16.
“Have to be 16th,” wrote Matt Norlander. “There were times in the past three weeks that USC did not even look like a tournament team. Then it goes out and plays its two best games of the season this past weekend. Knocking off Duke? Going for 65 in the second half? This is astonishing. And yeah, I can see this team beating Baylor. Frank Martin’s finally getting widespread acclaim for his abilities as a coach. This is the first time in program history the Gamecocks have won back-to-back tournament games.”
The good news for the Gamecocks is how much they love being counted out, having felt that way all along about the national perception of the USC basketball program. Seniors like Sindarius Thornwell came in to prove something and have done so through two weekends.
“Being counted out, nobody thought we could win this game,” Thornwell said after USC’s win against Duke. “The best feeling is going in as underdogs and coming out on top.”
The Gamecocks will be looking to do that against at 7:29 p.m. Friday against Baylor.