While there's a lot to say about this instant classic, the most appropriate thing I can think to say is, Damn, that felt good! South Carolina just defeated the visiting Gators in the most dramatic fashion. We trailed by seven with about three minutes left, and Devan Downey scored all of our points over a 7-2 run to make it 69-67. Zam Fredrick had the chance to tie the game on the foul line, but missed his second shot. Florida's Chandler Parson's then had the chance to more or less ice it on the line with five seconds left. Parsons missed his first shot, and Mike Holmes then rebounded and threw the ball to a streaking Fredrick, who layed the ball in for the win as time expired.
Other than the beautiful finish, this was something of an ugly if very close game. I would have liked to see us shoot better than we did, especially in the last ten minutes of the second. On the other hand, we got back to forcing the turnovers we got before the last road trip, and that led to some easy baskets and trips to the line. The Gators shot much better than us, but those trips to the line kept us in the game. Surprisingly, we also got a lot of offensive rebounds, and the second-chance shots also helped us overcome a poor shooting percentage. Honestly, though, I don't want to dwell too long on the nuts and bolts of this game; we got a great win against a better-than-average team, and I'm going to leave it at that.
This was a must-win game in terms of our place in the SEC East and NCAA bubble, so, obviously, this win was big. We now sit at 2-2 in league play with two winnable home games coming up. We also now have two wins over top-25 opponents that will likely go dancing. If we beat Ole Miss this weekend (and we should), I expect us to get some significant attention from the bracketologists. Not that it means much right now, of course; we'll have plenty of tough games down the stretch that we'll have to win if we want to make it to the Dance. But for one night, we've proven we can win games like that, and hopefully this team will go forward after this season-defining moment playing like the NCAA-tourney team they've shown us glimpes of against Baylor and Florida.