Gamecocks Basketball: SEC Championship or Bust

The college basketball tournament season is upon us and for the South Carolina Gamecocks it is "win or go home" from here on out. South Carolina will play Auburn Wednesday night in the first round of the SEC Tournament. Tipoff is schedule for 7 p.m., ET at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. For the Gamecocks, they have to run-the-table to have any postseason life. Can they do it?

Well, USC has won two of the last three so there is a little wind in their sails entering the tournament. They know their opponent, Auburn, as they have lost twice to them of late (74-79 on Feb. 5 and  67-83 on Feb. 26). If you are a betting person would you bet on the Gamecocks to win the SEC Championship? Let us agree that it is a long shot as the college basketball lines at sportsbook are not putting a high likelihood on USC cutting the nets any time soon and the ESPN basketball page is not talking about Coach Frank Martin's squad.

With any tournament game, you take it one game at a time. Auburn enters the contest with a 14-15 overall record and 6-12 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are 12-19 overall and 5-13 in the SEC.

For USC to win this game, it boils down to stopping Chris Denson, who was named to the All-SEC second team. He is the AU spark as he finished the regular season second in the SEC in scoring at 19.2 ppg, was ninth in field goal percentage.

Along with slowing Denson, the Gamecocks need one of their own to step-up and it needs to be Sindarius Thornwell. In his last outing, he recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 22 points to go with a season-high 11 rebounds in helping lead the Gamecocks to their first win in Starkville, Miss., since Jan. 27, 2007.

At the end of the day, the Gamecocks can beat Auburn and make the second game fun to watch. Will they run the table and win the SEC? Well, not really on paper but crazier things have occurred. I would love to see the Gamecocks shock the world.

About flounder

Two-time grad of THE University of South Carolina.