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South Carolina Preview/GameThread

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Our 9-4 Aggies travel to Columbia, SC for an early date with the 4-9 Gamecocks (11:00 AM; SEC Network)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bubbles. Bubbles, everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. Okay bubbles stahp.

Whew, that's out of the way. Now, let's focus on today. Today isn't about the big picture. Today is about taking care of business at a feisty South Carolina squad by any means necessary. It's about continuing the "no bad loss" resume that's likely to carry us to the NCAA's.

Be warned... Vegas thinks this one is going to be dicey, and casinos aren't built on bad information.

They punched Georgia in the face

I know that's a metaphor people use for sports too often... but I don't know what else to call it when South Carolina walks into Athens builds a 24-6 lead in the first ten minutes.

Georgia gave us a great deal of trouble defensively, and South Carolina tossed them around for most of the night. Warrants mentioning.

For my money, they are by far the toughest test of the bottom five.

They are unstable

You aren't going to believe this, but a team led by Frank Martin is prone to unexplainable mood shifts.

  • Beat #9 Iowa State on a neutral court? Sure.
  • Take Baylor to the wire? Absolutely.
  • Lose to RPI #189 Charlotte? Why not.
  • Enjoy a 1-6 stretch where the only win is a random 17-point beating of Georgia? Makes sense.
  • Follow that game with three 20+ point losses and a close victory over 1-11 Mizzou? Seems like a sports thing.

So, yeah... the Gamecocks are kinda all over the place.

Addition by subtraction

Their season sweep of Georgia becomes even more odd when you consider the recent suspensions of Demetirus Henry (6.0 PPG; 3.6 PPG) and Shamiek Sheppard (1.6 PPG; 1.3 RPG). Henry in particular (19 MPG) was a regular contributor, but the team seemed to manage just fine with a short bench, as only seven Gamecocks played in Athens.

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Honestly, I don't know what Vegas sees here. Sure, the Gamecocks are the ex that is just as likely to make a killer homecooked meal as she is to flip the table over and storm upstairs... and I get how that uncertainty could manifest itself in a good performance at home. But we're the antidote to that, aren't we? We're chill. We coldly dispatch of the bottom five. We watch the ex storm upstairs and calmly flip on Netflix and order Chinese.

Nothing gets to these guys. Not this group. I predict an efficient, workmanlike performance and a double-digit number in the win column by lunch.

10-4, good friends.