South Carolina's women's basketball team is the top-ranked hoops squad in all the Carolinas, a prestigious title for a program south of Tobacco Road.
The Gamecocks (23-2) were ranked No. 4 in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, jumping Duke to rise one spot. The Blue Devils (22-3), who lost to No. 11 North Carolina last week, fell to from third to No. 7 in the poll.
Duke's men's basketball team is the second-highest ranked basketball program in the Carolinas, slotted at No. 5 in the AP poll.
South Carolina rose this week from No. 5 after beating LSU 73-57 on Sunday. The blowout was USC's first victory in Baton Rouge since 1994.
Undefeated UConn once against sits atop the rankings, followed by undefeated Notre Dame. Louisville rose to No. 3, while Stanford rounded out the top 5.
South Carolina was also slotted as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN bracketologist Charlie Crème. If the selection committee goes this route for next month's tournament, the Gamecocks would travel across the country to Seattle for their first two NCAA games, and the Sweet 16 would be held in Lincoln, Neb.
Gamecocks baseball cracks top 5
South Carolina's bashing of Bucknell over opening weekend was enough to crack the top five in Baseball America's first poll of the season. After being ranked No. 7 in the preseason, the Gamecocks rose two spots in the poll Monday.
South Carolina is the only school in the nation with top five-ranked football, basketball and baseball teams. The Gamecocks swept Bucknell in three games over the weekend by a combined score of 41-6.
Virginia (2-1) remained No. 1 in Baseball America's poll despite losing its opener to Kentucky. The Cavaliers were followed by Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton and Florida State.
Clemson was ranked No. 13 after going 2-1 against Eastern Michigan in its opening weekend.
Seven SEC teams were ranked in the top 25, led by the preseason favorite Gamecocks. Behind South Carolina, No. 7 Mississippi State, No. 9 Vanderbilt, No. 21 Louisville, No. 23 Florida, No. 24 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arkansas were also ranked.
Thornwell named SEC Freshman of the Week
Sindarius Thornwell is a repeat winner of the SEC Freshman of the Week award.
South Carolina's freshman guard earned the recognition Monday for the second time this season after leading the Gamecocks to their first SEC winning streak in three years last week. Thornwell averaged 20.5 points, five rebounds and five assists in South Carolina's home wins over Vanderbilt and Alabama.
"It feels good to finally come here and smile," Thornwell said after his team's win against Vandy. "All the times we come in here, we frown or we're sad about blowing a lead or (how we) messed up or something. So it feels good to finally come here and smile."
The highlight of Thornwell's week came Saturday against the Crimson Tide.
Down the stretch, the freshman scored or assisted on 15 of the final 17 points - including the winning free throws with five seconds left - in the Gamecocks' 67-66 victory. Thornwell finished with 22 points, his fifth 20-point game of the season. That's four more 20-point games than Kentucky uber-freshman Julius Randle, and the same number as former South Carolina star B.J. McKie during his 1996 SEC Freshman of the Year season.
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