Oh, so sweet! Gamecock men and women punch tickets to Sweet 16

South Carolina cruises past Marquette

Sunday wasn't much better as Louisville bowed out to a red-hot MI team, and then Duke was manhandled and shell-shocked by SC. There was Coach K in shirt and tie, sans suit jacket or a path forward. Brooklyn freshman Rakym Felder came off the bench to score 15 points. It ended with Luke Kennard fouled out.

Instead, a SC team that hadn't won an NCAA tournament game since 1973, is moving on to the Sweet 16. After Notice scored five straight points himself to push USC's lead to seven, the noise level in the arena reached jet-engine levels and Duke burned a timeout.

There are bracket busters in each tournament. Then the second round happened. Wisconsin picked off the Wildcats in Buffalo. First, everyone is invited: the champions of every Division 1 conference, from the mighty Atlantic Coast to the lower-profile West Coast, the Big East to the Big West, receive automatic berths.

"I'm hoping this weekend North Carolina and SC will be united in victories", said UNC Fan Rick Bryson.

Any team that can halt a red-hot Duke squad deserves recognition as a legitimate threat the rest of the tournament. "I don't know", Marshall said. The gilded program had reached the Sweet 16 five times in seven seasons, but stomachs turned again as SC put the screws to the Blue Devils, bedeviling them with pressure that Duke proved ill equipped to handle all night. She missed the first time down the floor, and again with 50 seconds to go. The Bulldogs have beaten North Carolina each of the past two times that the two teams played (74-66 in 2014 and 82-71 in 2012), while Lewis played well (six assists and just one turnover) in a one-point loss to the Tar Heels the last time that he faced them (2014).

Thornwell also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds as the Gamecocks, seeded seventh in the regional, made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004 a successful one.

The Baylor-South Carolina game is on TBS.

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There is plenty to pick apart in the post-mortem.

"South Carolina fans can be really annoying", said Duke Fan Ariel Reaves. "It will be because they played better defense than we played offense, you know". That was all before the Gamecocks proved all too aggressive for his team to handle.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -Duke players sat silently in the locker room after the team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, 88-81 by SC. The Sweet 16 is now set.

Duke would briefly reclaim a two-point lead a few minutes later, but a three-point play from PJ Dozier at the 12:03 mark gave the Gamecocks a lead they would never relinquish. It's something the New England Patriots in the National Football League and, indeed, other similarly "unlikable" teams have to overcome in their respective sports. Four teams are coming to the Garden.

Worlock called that the tournament's eternal charm, the idea that "everyone has this opportunity to take the national stage, often as an underdog, often against a higher-profile program, and it's a one-game shot". No. 4 Florida will face No. 8 Wisconsin. It landed nine in the field, but the top half-dozen was all considered potential contenders to get to Glendale and be one of the last four standing.

Heck, even here at SB Nation there were strong opinions about Duke winning the whole thing - and for the first 22 minutes of Sunday's game it seemed like Duke was going to make a whole lot of people look really smart. Madness is coming, even if the name brands aren't.

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