Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded SC used sudden hot shooting in the second half to knock second-seeded Duke out of the NCAA Tournament, winning 88-81 Sunday night in a charged-up atmosphere for the second-round game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. That year was Duke's second straight early exit after reaching the Sweet 16 from 1998 to 2006, when they went to the Final Four three times and won the 2011 national championship.
It happened in front of a pro-South Carolina crowd in Greenville, with Gamecocks fans in their home state joined by Duke-hating North Carolina fans - who had just watched the Tar Heels beat Arkansas - to form a crowd largely united against the Blue Devils.
Duke's Frank Jackson drives between South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell (right) and Chris Silva during their game Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville.
Thornwell had 24 points, Chris Silva scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and Duane Notice had 17 points, 14 in a 65-point second half, as SC rallied from 10 points down for a second straight NCAA victory.
The Gamecocks came out looking like the hungrier team in the second half, and lit it up from everywhere on the court. Duke couldn't make them pay because it coughed up 13 turnovers, leading to 10 SC points, almost half of its anemic first-half total. Despite the Blue Devils' best attempts, they couldn't put down the Gamecocks. "It was our defense". Kennard said his team has been in hard environments before "and we've won games like that. We thought we could win the game coming out the second half because of shooting so poorly the first half".
Millions of NCAA March Madness brackets were already busted thanks to Villanova's loss on Saturday. OR will be looking to make their second ever Final Four - the first coming in 1939, when they won the first ever NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (def. Ohio State, 46-33). They'll face 3-seed Baylor on Friday (7:29 pm ET, TBS).
After being outrebounded 21-18 in the first half, the Gamecocks stepped it up on the boards in the second with a 19-13 rebounding advantage.
The 3-seed Baylor Bears advanced to the Sweet 16 after defeating the 11-seed USC Trojans, 82-78, on Sunday night. Actually, the most physical game we've been in all year.
It all started in the first half when SC saw themselves in a 30-23 hole. He not only provides interior offense to complement the perimeter scoring of Thornwell, P.J. Dozier, Duane Notice and Rakym Felder, but his rim protection is a big reason SC ranked fourth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The long, dramatic roller coaster of emotion that has been this season for the Duke Blue Devils has come to a close.
Although Duke got five players in double figures led by Grayson Allen, it never really threatened after a Duane Notice triple made it 60-53 with 8:52 remaining. The NCAA moved the tournament site a year ago due to House Bill 2.
Maryland 83, West Virginia 56: Destiny Slocum nailed a 70-foot shot to cap a pivotal second quarter for Maryland, and the third-seeded Terrapins (32-3) went on to defeat the Mountaineers. Silva sunk the free throw out of the timeout, marking his 17th point of the game, a new career high.