COLUMBIA, S.C. – The champ is here.
They just aren’t in the position we expected.
To be honest, South Carolina is a tad bit unfortunate to go into the postseason with such a bloated seed.
Sure, they took two losses in Atlanta, but they had plenty of juice left on the schedule to get them at least back into the top four.
But [Monty Python voice] nobody expects the global pandemic.
D-I Round 1: Buffalo at South Carolina | https://t.co/vEVMtptsD3 #virtualmcla20
— MCLA Tournament '21 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 24, 2020
So here the Gamecocks sit, a bit jilted by their position and facing a rather bowed up opponent.
The Bulls are feeling pretty good heading south. The city of Buffalo is still two months from thawing out, so a trip to Columbia is a welcome excursion.
The fact that Buffalo has an outstanding team with the ability to go toe-to-toe with USC is more energizing.
If the Bulls want any realistic chance of knocking off the champs, it starts with senior goalie Sean Touhy and works its way forward.
“Getting the champs in the first round is a spicy meatball. South Carolina is a really impressive bunch,” said Buffalo coach Ryan Crawford*. “We’ll focus on the little things and see what happens.”
Typically, it’s better to face a champion fat and happy heading into the playoffs. That’s why there hasn’t been a repeat champ in Division I since 2013.
Having an annoyed champ is less than optimal, and that’s where the Gamecocks are.
Junior Liam Peck has stepped in nicely at goalie for South Carolina, answering a big question heading into the season.
“I love everything about our situation right now,” said South Carolina coach James Harkey*. “We don’t worry about seeds or expectations. We worry about championships. That’s it.”
[*- The coach didn’t really say this. This is all made up. It’s fake]