GREENVILLE, South Carolina – South Carolina is heading to Madison Square Garden – and not for the NIT.
A Gamecocks program known largely – and mocked often by some – for its back-to-back NIT championships in 2005 and 2006 is now heading to the world’s most famous arena as part of the NCAA’s Sweet 16. They are making their first appearance in the regional semifinals since the bracket expanded after an 88-81 victory Sunday night over No. 2 seed Duke in the East Regional.
And Sindarius Thornwell says he believes bigger things are ahead.
“We’re not satisfied,” he said. “We’re in it, so why not win it?”
The Gamecocks (24-10) seem capable of anything after this one.
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 South Carolina rallied from 10 points down for a second straight NCAA victory.
The 65 points were the most given up in a half by a Mike Krzyzewski-coached Duke team.
The Gamecocks shook off a 20-percent shooting first half for the win.
“I told the guys at halftime, someone’s got to have the courage and make shots,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said.