South Carolina Gamecocks 20-3 (8-2 in SEC)
Lamont Paris needs to be in the conversation for national coach of the year with the job he’s done with the South Carolina Gamecocks. After being picked to finish last in the SEC, they are now 20-3 and 8-2 in league play after knocking off Ole Miss. With the win, the Gamecocks have now won 13 of 15 since losing to Clemson in overtime in the beginning of December.
They have victories over both Tennessee and Kentucky which is a huge boost to their resume. Another critical portion of their schedule comes at the end of the month when they travel to Oxford and College Station to take on Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
South Carolina has an 8-2 record in the first two quads and an 8-2 record in road and neutral games including the big road win at Tennessee. The results metrics like the Gamecocks much more than the predictive ones. Their Strength of Record ranks 4th in the country, but their highest predictive one is KenPom at 43rd. The Gamecocks thrive on defense, ranking 41st in defensive efficiency and top-30 in both two-point defense and effective field goal percentage defense.
They finish with a gauntlet of five games that includes a return bout with Tennessee and three road tilts at the Mississippi schools and Texas A&M giving themselves a chance to show they are true contenders in the SEC.