Game­cocks em­brace role as un­der­dog

Martin: Team in first Fi­nal Four be­cause it didn’t heed doubters.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Jim O’Con­nell Game­cocks

Gon­zaga is in its first Fi­nal Four but the Zags had knocked on the door a few times. South Carolina, mean­while, en­ters its first Fi­nal Four hav­ing never be­fore been close to this deep of a run.

The Game­cocks reached their first na­tional semi­fi­nals the same sea­son they reached their first Sweet 16, com­ing in as the sev­enth seed from the East Re­gion.

South Carolina guard Duane No­tice said his team’s run is no sur­prise to him.

“Ev­ery­body’s al­ways pick­ing against us,” No­tice said Sun­day af­ter South Carolina beat fourth­seeded Florida 77-70 at Madi­son Square Gar­den. “We’re fo­cused as a team, we’re fo­cused on the next game ahead ev­ery time. The way we play de­fense, you can put any school — big or small — against us.”

The Game­cocks were a slight fa­vorite against Mar­quette in the open­ing NCAA round but were a de­cided un­der­dog against

South Carolina’s Frank Martin pre­vi­ously coached at Kansas State.

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