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Alabama vs. South Carolina, 2017 SEC Tournament recap: Crimson Tide upset Gamecocks

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Alabama is going to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the first time since the Mark Gottfried era!

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-South Carolina vs Alabama Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the weekend portion of the 2017 SEC Tournament, the Alabama Crimson Tide find themselves in a position in which few were expecting them to be. After opening with a victory over Mississippi State on Thursday afternoon, the Tide kept rolling along and upset South Carolina in Friday’s quarterfinal matchup, handing the Gamecocks a 64-53 defeat.

Forward Braxton Key led the Tide with 18 points on 6-8 shooting, and grabbed seven rebounds. Bola Olaniyan led the way for ‘Bama with 10 rebounds, a category which the entire team did particularly well, as they held a 42-27 advantage over South Carolina.

SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell had 16 points for the Gamecocks. South Carolina struggled offensively, shooting just 36% from the field. That was magnified over the final three minutes of the game when the Gamecocks missed seven straight shots.

While Alabama will likely still has to at least defeat Kentucky in Saturday’s semifinal to make the NCAA Tournament, Avery Johnson’s bunch can rejoice at the progress made this season. This is the first semifinal appearance for the Crimson Tide since 2001-02, Mark Gottfried’s third season as head coach.

Meanwhile for the Gamecocks, an uncomfortable wait until the NCAA Selection Show begins.