SC Gamecocks Beat Duke, Advances to Sweet 16

Jonathan Daniel  Getty Images

Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

He maintained that he felt welcomed in SC.

South Carolina, playing with what could be considered a home-court - or at least a home-state - edge, beat Duke Sunday night to move into the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen".

The Duke stunner and Louisville's loss to MI shows how tough it can be for No. 2 seeds.

"Coming off the bench doesn't really change the player that you are, necessarily", Allen said after the game. "We thought we could", Jones said.

Semi Ojeleye had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Sterling Brown had 17 points for SMU (30-5), which had won 16 straight.

The Gamecocks shot 29 percent (5 of 17) on field goals in the first quarter, but made 46 percent (19 of 41) of their shots the rest of the way to overcome a 17-14 deficit after the opening quarter.

"It's been fairly quiet in the book as of late", Caesars Palace sports book director Frank Kunovic said late in Arkansas' upset bid of top-seeded North Carolina. The Blue Devils, the 2-seed in the East Region, faced off against seventh-seeded SC.

Duke (28-9) was attempting to reach the round of 16 for the sixth time in eight seasons.

SC defense, however, was able to stymie the Blue Devils, and at the half, USC trailed by a just seven points.

Sure, they're cheering because Duke lost, and America will soon show more interest in Jayson Tatum's draft stock and mocking Luke Kennard than in the undergrads swimming in the fountain in front of the Thomas Cooper Library tonight.

Turns out, the Blue Devils were both the kind of team that can post 13 wins over top-50 RPI teams but also lose to one of the more unimposing No. 7 seeds in recent memory.

Silva added 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. Moritz Wagner led the sizzling Wolverines, winners of seven in a row, with 26 points.

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Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina's other All-American and two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, was held to six points on 2-of-7 shooting.

"That's the most physical team we've faced all year", he said. But behind Sindarius Thornwell's outside shooting and Chris Silva's dominance underneath, SC rallied to win two NCAA games for the first time in 44 years.

"We've done it before".

As a freshman, Silva averaged more fouls per game (3.1) than made field goals (1.7).

With the shot clock winding down, Berry drove and collided with Adrio Bailey, forcing him to just fling the ball onto the backboard to avoid the travel.

SC - whose campus is just 120 miles from Greenville - had a majority of the fans in the arena on Friday night in its win over Marquette.

"They can't put that into a formula to come out with a percentage chance to win, and that's the things we have".

Not only does SC have an outstanding women's basketball program to give them edge against Arizona State, but they also will be the home court in this match-up. And just as many times, if not more, we were willing to ignore all the warning signs and choose to believe this was a championship-caliber team.

Jackson took over from there, scoring 8 of the next 10 points for the Jayhawks as they pushed their lead back to 64-57.

If you think Mike Krzyzewski and his players looked chagrined on the Greenville sideline, imagine the grimaces of the Garden's executives.

On the other side, SC looked very impressive in its opening-round win over Marquette. The program won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since advancing to the Elite Eight and losing to Stanford in 1998.

The Ducks weren't the only team that needed a late-game spurt to down a feisty underdog. They'll certainly be a different looking team next year with seniors like Jones and Amile Jefferson finishing up and freshmen like Jayson Tatum, considering the National Basketball Association.

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