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Palmetto Pride on the line for South Carolina in Final Four

South Carolina’s Hassani Gravett says the Gamecocks want no part of Clemson one-upping them in national championships. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)
South Carolina’s Hassani Gravett says the Gamecocks want no part of Clemson one-upping them in national championships. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – For University of South Carolina fans the annoyance of in-state school Coastal Carolina taking home the College World Series crown in the spring was nothing next to the indignity of Clemson winning it all in football in the fall.

Now USC is restoring its good name and taking its turn bringing athletic glory to the Palmetto State.

“That’s our rival school. Nobody wants Clemson shining over us,” said USC guard Hassani Gravett. “The fact that we’re doing big things right now, I think that’s great.”

Both South Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams are playing in the Final Four, only the 10th time for a school to have both teams make the final quartet in the same year.

And while Clemson and USC do not play in the same conference, the schools have all the usual hallmarks of instate rivals. In basketball, Clemson’s Jordan Rope, who started 31 games as a senior last year, went to high school with USC’s Justin McKie.

Five members of the current Gamecocks roster are from South Carolina, so those regional rivalries are strong.

“At the end of the day, both teams being in South Carolina is great for the state, but of course we want those bragging rights,” said P.J. Dozier, a former five-star recruit from Columbia who stayed home to play for the local school. “We want those bragging rights to be able to say we won the title as well.”

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