COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)—USC students were still excited Monday after their men’s and women’s basketball teams won their NCAA tournament games Sunday to both advance to the Sweet 16. The men beat Duke Sunday night in Greenville while the USC women beat Arizona State in Columbia.
Sean Buckley, a USC junior, was watching the men’s game with his roommates in their apartment complex. He says, “Man, it was just a whole lot of stompin’. You could hear it throughout the entire apartment complex. Everybody was freaking out every time there was a key play; it was just so much energy! I loved it!”
After the men’s game was over, the team went crazy in the locker room, dancing and singing and drenching everyone in celebration. Meanwhile, the students back on campus took to the streets to celebrate.
Sophomore Maya Rush says, “It was crazy! We ran out here on Greene Street and we stayed out here for about two hours, back-and-forth between here and The Horseshoe in front of President Pastides’ house, but he wasn’t there. But when he came back he joined us on Greene Street. We left Greene Street and they said the team was about 45 minutes away so we went, ran over to the coliseum and just welcomed them back. It was amazing! I was glad to be a part of it.”
Sophomore Kishan Patel says either victory was worth a big celebration, but having both teams make the Sweet 16 made the day even more incredible. “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. The women’s (team) got a lot more attention last year and now there’s just like a lot of hype for both teams and that just represents really well for our school,” he says.
Bailey Jennings, a USC junior, says, “The girls have been doing it, so I think the fact that the guys are here as well, it’s just bringing us all together.”
The school is holding a pep rally for both teams Tuesday night at 6 near the Colonial Life Arena on campus. President Pastides, Coach Frank Martin, Coach Dawn Staley, and a player from each team will speak.
Stephen Culpepper, a senior from Anderson, says he’s been a die-hard fan his whole life and this is a dream come true. “And hopefully we can make it past Elite Eight and make it to the Final Four and bring home a championship for the first time,” he says.
The men play Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York against Baylor. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:29. The women play Saturday at 4 in Stockton, California. Their opponent will be determined Monday night when Quinnipiac and Miami play.