South Carolina Gamecocks 68, #1 Kentucky Wildcats, 62
Columbia, SC — The College Basketball world rocked on Tuesday, January 26th, as the Devan Downey's South Carolina Gamecocks defeated John Wall's top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
As the clock wound down to its final seconds, Downey motioned for fans to rush the court in celebration of the iconic victory. The Wildcats (19-1), were left feeling blue after their first loss in the '09-'10 season.
In the victory, Devan Downey scored 30 points to upset future NBA players such as John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, and Patrick Patterson. "What a great environment. Hats off to South Carolina. They obviously outworked us," Calipari included in his opening statement to the media.
The Gamecocks had an amazing team effort in the thrilling upset. Downey's determination, Raley-Ross's key scoring, solid defensive play, and in-your-face rebounding equaled a Palmetto State party for Gamecock fans.
The Gamecocks owned the nation's tallest team 44-40 on the glass with contributions from players of all sizes. South Carolina's top re-bounders included senior Sam Muldrow (#11), freshman Johndre Jefferson (#8), and junior Austin Steed (#6).
Carolina's freshman made a huge difference in the monumental upset of John Calapari's squad. Newcomers Lakeem Jackson, Stephen Spinella, and Ramon Galloway helped to flush the NBA-caliber Kentucky.
The defense also played a key role in what might have been South Carolina's greatest basketball victory in history. Eight rejections highlighted the defense. The Gamecocks have swatted UK out of the arena at home games in the past two seasons.
In 2009, USC accounted for 16 of those rejections.
Darrin Horn annexed his pressing strategy in the 2nd half and privileged Devan Downey with controlling the clock to finish the feast.
It was a storybook ending for the Gamecocks.
I could barely hear over all the noise. The 18,000-member Garnet Army poured onto the court as their theme song "Sandstorm" stole the show after the victory.
Boy, does this make me proud to be part of Gamecock Nation!