The South Carolina Gamecocks played an exceptional game against the No. 25 Baylor Bears and nearly pulled off an impressive upset, but lost 66 – 64. Interestingly enough, the Bears beat out another SEC team, the Tennessee Volunteers, by four votes to make it to the top-25. The Volunteers were picked to finish third in the SEC, and the Gamecocks were picked to finish 12th.
The Gamecocks controlled the majority of this game and had multiple opportunities to win late in the game. Two missed layups with Baylor leading by just one with less than a minute to go and the inability to get off a final shot let the Bears hang on to a win.
South Carolina’s early-season form is the perfect example of why the SEC is such a dangerous conference this season. If the Gamecocks are still good enough to almost beat the No. 25 Bears, what might a mid-range SEC team like the Alabama Crimson Tide or Missouri Tigers be able to do against Baylor? Unfortunately for Frank Martin’s team, many are looking at this not as a success for South Carolina, but as a failure for Baylor.
South Carolina is a long way away from being able to beat the likes of the Florida Gators, Tennessee and Kentucky Wildcats, but crazier things have happened in college basketball. If the Gamecocks continue to play like they did against Baylor, upper-level SEC teams cannot afford overlook South Carolina. The Gamecocks are for real in the 2013-14 college basketball season — Kentucky and Florida beware.