South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks make history before NCAA Tournament even begins

South Carolina Basketball

South Carolina basketball’s Aliyah Boston against UConn earlier this season. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the final Associated Press rankings were released for the 2022-2023 season, and the South Carolina basketball team became just the third program ever to be the AP’s number-1 team, wire-to-wire, for two straight seasons. The UConn Huskies and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are the other two teams ever to accomplish this impressive feat.

This marks 38 consecutive polling weeks at the top of the AP Poll for the Gamecocks. That is now the second-longest streak ever behind only UConn, who managed to hold onto the ranking for a remarkable 51 straight polling weeks over a stretch from 2008 to 2011. If South Carolina was to win the National Championship and then start strong again next season, as well, that record could be within reach for the Gamecocks.

Of course, this bit of history is very far down the list of historical achievements on the radar of Dawn Staley and her program. The Gamecocks are seeking to become just the fourth program to ever win back-to-back national championships (UConn, Tennessee, and Southern Cal are the other three programs to do this) and the fifth to go undefeated over an entire season (UConn, Tennessee, Texas, and Baylor are the other four undefeated teams).

Dawn Staley already has a statue in the works, and Gamecock legend A’ja Wilson also has a statue, but fans can expect to find one of Aliyah Boston somewhere in Columbia if the Gamecocks manage to win another championship over the next month.

This more important bit of history is just six wins away for the Lady Gamecocks, and the road will be difficult, even for the country’s best squad. That road will begin on Friday at Colonial Life arena where the Gamecocks will take on Norfolk State on ESPN after the conclusion of the South Florida vs. Marquette matchup. USF and Marquette tip off at 11:30, and Carolina-Norfolk State is set to begin sometime around 2:00.