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South Carolina fans welcome Gamecocks home after team clinches Final Four berth

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It was quite the crowd at the CLA.

WLTX

The South Carolina Gamecocks had thousands of fans on their side today up in New York City as they defeated the Florida Gators to earn their first-ever trip to the Final Four. There figured to be thousands more to greet them at Colonial Life Arena upon their return, and needless to say, Gamecocks nation didn’t disappoint.

The team’s expected arrival time was 10:00. Fans were gathered out in front of CLA long before that - including our man and GABACast co-host Sam McDowell.

Just take a look at this:

We even had a “We Want Zion” chant, because why not. (Zion himself even retweeted it on his timeline. I guess he has a lot of thinking to do after seeing this run by the Gamecocks...more on that later.)

Meanwhile, thousands of feet above...

They finally arrived - a little later than expected - but just take this in for a second.

This was certainly a once in a lifetime moment for a team achieving one of the most memorable accomplishments in school history - a seven seen bouncing back from a 3-6 end to their season to win four straight against Marquette, Duke, Baylor and Florida to reach the national semifinal against Gonzaga. We suspect that whoever doesn’t make the trip over to Phoenix (and there should be quite a few) will be with the Gamecocks in spirit, whether it’s in Columbia or elsewhere.

We’ll also keep tabs on whether Harris Pastides cancels classes tomorrow or not. (Update: He didn’t.)