February 29, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks forward Damontre Harris (24) dunks against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first half at Colonial-Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
Had enough men's basketball yet? Yeah, me too. Unfortunately, though, there's one more game to be played.To make matters worse, it's a cream puff war between the Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs, arguably the league's two worst teams. (Sadly, there's no arguing where we stand in that equation.) The game takes place tomorrow afternoon at 1:45 EST.
Georgia, of course, is one of the two SEC teams the Gamecocks have defeated this year. Looking back to that game, what jumps out to me was the utterly ugly nature of the contest. The stat sheet tells a grisly story: both teams shot below 40%, and they combined for 27 turnovers. It was a scrappy game between two bad basketball teams, and Carolina earned a victory on the virtue of excellent FT shooting and clutch play down the stretch. Since that's what we needed to beat Alabama, too, you have to imagine that we need to hold out hope that we can drag UGA down into the much with us.
I will say that, in our defense, the Dawgs aren't a much better team than us, even with their better record. The Four Factors to Victory even suggest some key advantages for Carolina. One tends to imagine that a team that can shoot better, that protects the ball better, and that gets more offensive boards has a good shot at a victory.
Considering the Gamecocks' record of futility on the road, though, why should we expect much here? The Gamecocks have won--get this--one road game on the year. That was at Clemson, probably the biggest win on the season. Carolina hasn't won a single road game in the SEC, and it even lost on the road to Elon, a SoCon team with a 14-15 record. It's hard to see that changing in Stegeman, where the Dawgs tend to play decent ball.
That being the case, why am I fantasizing about a Carolina victory when it's a fairly unlikely eventuality, even considering the mediocre competition? Well, as much as I'm sick of watching us play like crap, I guess you could call me a sucker for punishment. I'd love to see the Gamecocks net one meaningful road victory on the season. Unfortunately, I just can't see that happening. This season has more or less totally killed my faith in this squad.