Firstly, a very happy Ash Wednesday and Lent season to all who celebrate. I can’t wait for the first fish fry.
Secondly, there is a game tonight that was supposed to be played last night. I’m going ahead and letting you all know that, as of now, I have no idea if anyone will be out on Tennessee’s end. I have an idea via some local media hints, but the actual on-the-record announcement will not come until about an hour before tonight’s fixture. Be patient if I refer to a player that isn’t actually playing tonight; I have as much of a clue as you do as to their availability.
Anyway, it really is amazing how much one Final Four run can cover up. Frank Martin has still only made one NCAA Tournament in eight seasons at South Carolina, with this number very likely to grow to one in nine. To Martin’s credit, that’s the same number of NCAAT bids as the Gamecocks had from 1999 to 2012 prior to him becoming head coach, but I think pretty much everyone believed this would be a more successful pairing. Through 8.5 seasons, Martin has fewer 20+ win seasons (two) than Dave Odom (three), hasn’t had an offense rank better than 91st, and, again, has just the one NCAA Tournament run.
But that one run resulted in a Final Four the school will remember forever. It’s amazing how one small sample size can cover up a lot of forgettable moments in the much larger sample size. Fandom is a strange thing.
- THE OPPONENT: South Carolina (5-9, 3-7).
- THE TIME: 9 PM ET.
- THE CHANNEL: SEC Network.
- THE ANNOUNCERS: Tom Hart (PBP) and JON SUNDVOLD!!! (color). The most relaxing voice in the game.
- THE SPREAD: Tennessee -11.5.
To move ahead to a different section, click below.
- South Carolina offense
- South Carolina defense
- Lineup notes, key matchups, three predictions
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