Felder, Silva spark Gamecocks in victory against Duke

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

SC pulled off a shocker Sunday night, advancing to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 by upsetting Duke, 88-81.

ยท Sunday's win gives SC a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fifth time under head coach Dawn Staley.

The Bears (27-7) advance to the Sweet 16 to face No. 7 SC in a regional semifinal on Friday at Madison Square Garden in NY.

The victory allows USC to continue what is now a historic run, and their first appearance in the Sweet Sixteen since the tournament field expanded in the 1980s.

The South Carolina Gamecocks reached the 2nd round by pulling away in the 2nd halg against Marquette, winning the game by a final score of 93-73.

"I thought we were playing our butts off", Krzyzewski said. Wilson's tough put-back bucket 46 seconds later led to a three-point play that gave the lead back to the Gamecocks at 56-55 before Davis delivered another big shot, converting a jumper from the left side to stretch the lead to 58-55 with 8:20 to play.

After going into the locker room with a seven-point halftime lead, the second-seeded Blue Devils were blitzed in the second half by hot-shooting SC and sent home in disappointing fashion.

Down went Duke Sunday, cold cocked by the Gamecocks on NCAA tournament hardwood in SC, the final blows landing an hour before midnight.

If they make a movie about Duke's 2016-17 season, they're going to need to change the ending to fit the rest of the story.

"It's another game for us", Allen said. Neither offense was pretty until they came out of the locker room, and the Gamecocks absolutely torched the Blue Devils in the second half.

SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell led all scorers with 11 at the break.

If only Thornwell knew what it was like for SC during the old days, and he doesn't, but famed Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins does.

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. Felder canned a triple from National Basketball Association distance, Silva laid one in and was fouled.

DID YOU KNOW? Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has crossed paths with SC in the postseason previously.

The Gamecocks went 20-for-28 from the floor in the second half.

It wasn't by seeding, and certainly not by location - thanks to House Bill 2, Duke faced a poisonous alliance of SC and North Carolina fans, on the Gamecocks' turf - but when the preseason favorite to win the national title goes out this early, it's still historic. I mean, we know we're going to have Duke fans in the crowd, too. "We just weren't able to finish it out".

Duke is going to be a tall order for the Gamecocks, as they come into this game fresh off a win in the ACC Tournament title game.

That defensive effort kept the cold-shooting Gamecocks in the mix. "We got worn down". "It's the most physical game we've been in all year". And then we were in a lot of foul trouble. "After just about every basket, they're going insane in the room". I wish we had some of that tape that doesn't let water into the boat.

Carolina shot 7-for-35 in the first half, but trailed by only seven thanks to suffocating defense. A 15-5 run early in the second half, capped by a Silva alley-oop dunk, gave SC its first lead since the opening moments, at 38-37 with 15:14 remaining.

"Our guys were nervous to start the game", Martin said.

The Wildcats won't be wishing to play another Gregg Marshall team in the tournament anytime soon, but they're hoping this second-round win propels Kentucky to the national-championship game like it did in 2014.

"We just made shots, got the ball inside", Thornwell said.

"There was no one else we would rather have shot the ball", Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. Baylor held the Aggies to 37 percent shooting in the second half.

The Blue Devils have totaled a 4-0 record all-time against No. 10 seeds and won 14 in a row at home in NCAA play versus seeds 10 or higher. The fact that this is their last time leaving us tonight. "It comes down to who can make special plays".

With the win, SC advances to its first Sweet 16 since 1973, when the NCAA tournament only had 32 teams.



Other news