Right or wrong, fair or not, fans are mostly the same. If they think you’re supposed to be good, they’ll believe you’re good until you prove otherwise. And if they think you’re supposed to not be good, they’ll believe you’re not good until you prove otherwise.
And this is South Carolina’s biggest issue right now.
The Gamecocks entered the weekend as one of only three undefeated teams remaining. But, for the most part, folks still aren’t sure if they’re “for real” because most didn’t anticipate them being good. And because their best win before Saturday was either a win over a Tulsa team that’s lost six times or a win over a Clemson team that’s also lost six times.
And Saturday’s 86-76 win over Memphis won’t change anybody’s opinion.
Because Memphis is just OK.
But to focus on all that is to miss the larger picture, and the larger picture is this: South Carolina is 13-0! With wins over Memphis and Tulsa and Clemson! And this is a school that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2004 and hasn’t been in the Sweet 16 since 1973!
In other words, who cares about the details?
The Gamecocks might not ultimately prove to be one of the nation’s top 25 teams. Or they might end up being one of the best 10. As always, we’ll see. But, for what it’s worth, KenPom now projects South Carolina to finish tied for third in the league and enter the SEC Tournament with a 25-6 record, and that, independent of everything else, is pretty amazing.
So I’d encourage South Carolina fans to focus on that.
Don’t worry about your ranking.
Don’t worry about anything.
Just celebrate 13-0 … because 13-0 is 13-0.