From the moment the CBS broadcast came on the air, it was obvious SEC fans were in for a treat.
Verne Lundquist welcomed us all, as only he can, saying “I thought I had said this for the last time in December, but I have been given a reprieve: Welcome to the SEC on CBS.”
It was only fitting, in a way, for the voice of countless big SEC moments over the years to be on the call for one of the only All-SEC Elite Eight games in recent memory.
This marks the first Final Four in South Carolina history.
The Gamecocks trailed for the majority of the game, including by seven (40-33) at the half.
The second half was a tooth and nail battle, featuring zero three pointers made on either side. Everything was either inside or from the free throw line. Florida particularly struggled from deep, going 0-14 in the second half.
SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell did a little bit of everything, as usual, scoring 26 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and going 9-10 from the free throw line.
For the Gators, a great season comes to a disappointing ending, but Florida has nothing to be ashamed of. Justin Leon led the Gators with 18 points.
South Carolina will face Gonzaga next Saturday in Glendale, Arizona in the Final Four.