What has March Madness taught us?
The ACC was exposed. All the talk about how difficult of a conference they play in proved to be a weak and an overrated argument when one of nine teams from the ACC advanced to the Sweet16.
The SEC on the other hand had three of the four teams advance to the Elite8. With Florida and South Carolina matched up, one of them had to knock the other out for a spot in the final four.
The Palmetto state is making noise across the country in the world of sports. For a state that has no professional sports teams, they are surly capturing the attention of professional scouts.
Has a state ever been able to have all three (Baseball, Football and Basketball) major men’s National Championships? And in Women’s basketball? And have the Number One golfer in the world from the state of South Carolina? I’ve asked both ESPN Stats & Info and Elias Sports Bureau (the official statistician provider to ESPN) but I haven’t heard back. I’m going to say that sweeping a state in the three major college sports plus having the #1 golfer has never happened.
This past summer the Chanticleers from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC won the College World Series in their first trip to Omaha giving the Coast their first National Championship. The entire state including those that bleed Garnet (USC) and Orange (Clemson) were rooting for Teal nation and celebrated their victory! I’m convinced this bonded SC college sports teams to root for the state when your blood isn’t playing. (I can promise you this support for other schools in your state will never happen in the state of Virginia!)
This past January, the Tigers from Clemson University played in one of the best National Championship games in the history of college football. They upset the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31.
You can’t talk about South Carolina sports without talking about the untouchable Dustin Johnson! He is the current #1 golfer in the world. He won his third straight match on Sunday by winning the Dell Technologies Match Play making him the first golfer to earn a career sweep in the World Golf Championship. DJ is a Coastal Carolina Alumni & from Columbia, South Carolina. DJ said; “ being Number 1, it kind of drives me to work harder and to get better. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in my game. So I’m just going to keep working on it.” This has been the motto of the entire Palmetto state.
This now leads us to college basketball, where the sweeping of the Palmetto State may continue.
The CCU Men’s team in their first season as a member of the Sun Belt conference hosted Wyoming tonight in the CBI (College Basketball Invitational). This is a Championship series (best of three) to win it all. The Chanticleers won the first game by ten points. With a win on Wednesday or Friday Coastal cold win it all!
The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team will play Monday night and a win will advance them to the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s tournament for the second time in three years.
It’s no surprise that the biggest Cinderella of the Men’s NCAA Tournament is from the Palmetto state. The University of South Carolina Men’s basketball team reached the Final Four for the first time in school history! The program had not won a game in the NCAA tournament since 1972. They are a seven seed and will need to beat the number one seed, Gonzaga, to play for the National Championship!
If you like sunshine, palmetto (palm) trees, beaches, and smiling face, beautiful places then you should root for the Gamecocks (and the Chanticleers) to complete the sweep in March Madness.