Even though the season is coming to an end for the USC and Clemson football programs, the Palmetto State Rivalry lives on as both schools’ respective Basketball programs are shaping up to have great seasons. Yesterday’s match up between the Clemson Tigers and Carolina Gamecocks has been one of the most anticipated games of the season so far, so naturally the Palmetto Rivals Crew (Khalil, J.P. and myself) had to be in attendance. And as you can tell from the StudentUSports Snapchat, it was really wild atmosphere down in Columbia and I’m glad I made it out in one piece. I just thought I’d share some of my main takeaways from yesterdays experience at the rivalry game in Colonial Life Arena.
1. South Carolina Gamecocks Fans are Fucking Nuts.
These Carolina fans like talking shit to Clemson fans more then they actually like watching the game, and to me, that is the true embodiment of a College Rivalry. I was lucky enough to weasel my way into the Gamecocks Student Section (don’t tell anyone I go to Charleston) and it was a real wild time. A Clemson fan couldn’t even walk by the general area without the whole Student Section completely shitting on them….and that leads me to my next major takeaway.
2. Clemson Fans Showed Some Real Heart Knowingly Entering the Hostile Atmosphere in Columbia
Huge shoutout to Palmetto Rivals star Khalil for showing his face in The City of Dreams and even attending an all Carolina pregame. You can see from the Snap Story that my man Khalil looked like a dot of Orange in a sea of Garnet and Black. On top of that, Carolina was favored coming into this game, even though they were missing star player Sindarius Thornwell. But even with that in mind, the Clemson fans that were in attendance were very optimistic, and rightfully so. Clemson ended up pulling out a very close victory with a final score of 62-60. So as much as I hate to say it, good for Khalil; My man went to hell and came back out on top….even though he ruffled some 60 year old Carolina fans feathers (Refer to full Snapchat Story.)
3. My Thoughts on the Game Itself
Honestly, it was a real sloppy game, a lot of bricks, and not the best ball movement on either side of the court. But that doesn’t mean the game itself wasn’t entertaining. It was very back and forth with a lot of intense play. Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame proved to be a key weapon for Clemson on both defense and offense, recording 15 points and 10 rebounds. Also on a side note, let it be known that Carolina’s Student section consider Blossomgame to be very ugly. But anyways, back to actual facts…South Carolina was not playing at full strength as their star player Sindarius Thornwell was sitting out due to a suspension. In his absence, it was Point Guard PJ Dozier who really stepped up for the Gamecocks dropping 26 points for Carolina. The game came down to one final Carolina possession after a Clemson missed free throw. However, with four seconds left on the clock, Dozier tossed up an ugly clunker that allowed Clemson to regain possession as time expired. Down by two in that situation, I personally would have driven to the basket and look to hopefully get fouled, but then again I’m not a Four-Star College Athlete.
4. I Feel Like I Would Fit Right in on the Clemson Bench
Final Score: Clemson 62, Carolina 60.