On March 11th, 2006 the USC basketball team beat Kentucky 65-61 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. The next day they lost to eventual national champion Florida by a basket. Sans one win over LSU in the opening game of the 2008 SEC Tourney, the Gamecocks have not experienced any success in the annual event since.
Come Wednesday night the Gamecocks hope to reverse that trend. They are back in the Music City as a 12 seed in the tournament and have a winnable matchup against 13 seed Mississippi State. These two faced off twice in the regular season, with the Bulldogs winning in Starkville and the Gamecocks winning last week in Columbia.
The recent struggles in the SEC Tournament are why going to Nashville and winning one game in would be a big step forward for the Gamecocks. Sure they would probably lose to Tennessee the next day, but who cares? If they beat Mississippi State they can return home and know they accomplished something that hasn’t been done since Dave Odom was on the bench.
That might not semm like much, but for USC it would be something to build on. It would be progress, which is a word that hasn’t been used to describe USC basketball in a long time.