The University of South Carolina (USC, UofSC, SC, or simply Carolina) is a public research university in Columbia, South Carolina. It has seven satellite campuses throughout the state. Its main campus covers over 359 acres (145 ha) in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House. The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities with Highest Research Activity”. It also houses the largest collection of Robert Burns and Scottish literature materials outside Scotland. However, there is something else that makes this University so popular. South Carolina has a wonderful sport program that’s known all over the USA. Below, we will share a few words about the South Carolina Basketball team.
The South Carolina Gamecocks men’s basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Gamecocks won Southern Conference titles in 1927, 1933, 1934, and 1945. After that, they gained national attention under hall of fame coach Frank McGuire. They were posting a 205–65 record from 1967–1976, which included the 1970 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championship, the 1971 ACC Tournament title, and four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1971–1974.
The program also won the 1997 SEC championship, National Invitation Tournament (NIT) titles in 2005 and 2006, and a share of the 2009 SEC Eastern division title. Most recently, the Gamecocks won the 2017 NCAA East Regional Championship, reaching the Final Four for the first time in school history. Frank Martin is the current head coach, and the team plays at the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena.
South Carolina achieved a measure of regional prominence during its tenure in the Southern Conference, winning regular season championships in 1927, 1933, 1934, and 1945. The program also won the conference’s tournament championship in 1933. During World War II, the basketball team’s success was partially attributed to being assigned outstanding athletes by the U.S. Navy as part of the V-12 program. However, the Navy leaders kept the teams focus towards the war effort, and USC declined an invitation to the Southern Conference Tournament in 1944.
In 1983, the University became affiliated with the Metro Conference. The basketball program was placed on probation by the NCAA in the spring of 1987 for two years because of recruiting violations and the sale of complimentary player tickets. From 1987 to 1991, George Felton led the Gamecocks to an 87–62 overall record, which included a 1989 NCAA Tournament appearance and a 1991 NIT berth. For three of Felton’s five seasons (1987–1989), Tubby Smith served as an assistant coach before leaving to join Rick Pitino’s staff at Kentucky. South Carolina joined the SEC before the 1992 season and initially struggled, posting a combined 20–35 record in 1992 and 1993.
Through the years, the Gamecocks had their up and downs. However, the team was always one of the best in the NCAA top flight. They have been ACC champions as well as NIT champions. There are a lot of NCAA basketball streams where you can watch them in action.
South Carolina Basketball Modern Day Achievements
South Carolina have enjoyed a successful streak since 2012. Frank Martin came to USC from Kansas State, where he had enjoyed five winning seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight appearance with the Wildcats in 2010. After losing records in his first two seasons with the Gamecocks, he achieved a winning season in 2015, then reached the NIT in 2016, and then broke through into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the program’s first appearance in the event since 2004.
On March 17, 2017, USC achieved its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1973 with a 20-point win over the Marquette Golden Eagles. Two nights later, the Gamecocks upset the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils to advance to their fourth Sweet 16. South Carolina then beat #3 seed Baylor Bears to advance to their first-ever Elite 8, two days later they upset Florida to advance to their first ever Final Four.
The Gamecocks first competed at an intercollegiate level in women’s basketball in 1923. Back then, they were called the Pullets (a young domestic hen, a play off “Gamecocks,” which is a rooster).
The modern era of South Carolina women’s basketball began when the Carolina Chicks took to the court in January 1974 under the guidance of Pam Backhaus. The inaugural team compiled a record of 15–7 and were the South Carolina AIAW champions. In 1977, with Pam Parsons as the head coach they changed their nickname to the Lady Gamecocks. They made post-season trips every year during her four-year tenure.
During its eight seasons in the Metro Conference (now Conference USA after the 1995 reunification), the Lady Gamecocks won the regular season championship five times and the conference tournament three times.
When South Carolina joined the SEC, success was hard to come by during their first decade in one of the strongest conferences in women’s basketball. They initially struggled to compete under head coaches Nancy Wilson and Susan Walvius. Walvius’ teams in 2001–02 and 2002–03 broke through to finish 25–7 and 23–8, respectively. They earned trips to the NCAA tournament and reaching the Elite Eight in 2002.
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