I don't follow it - hell, I don't even follow William and Mary until February - but I was pleased to see them make it to the Final Four.
My only connection with Gamecock basketball came in 1972. I hitchhiked from Williamsburg down to Columbia over Thanksgiving to see my best friend from 7th-11th grade, John Malyerck. He had tried out for them as a walk-on and made the freshman team, which was quite an accomplishment, as he had never played high school ball. I told his story in 2011, Big Mal. An interesting character who died early, around age 50.
While visiting we went to some club downtown, and he did wave and point out friends he had made, enough of whom were very tall that I guessed they might be basketball players. So they might have been Alex English or Mike Dunleavy, but I would not have recognised those names then, nor would anyone else. I doubt it anyway, as Mal had a phenomenal memory and would have mentioned it to me years later: "You met him. He was at the club when you came down to visit." Kevin Joyce from the robbed 1972 Olympic Silver Medal team - that name I would have recognised, so he wasn't one of them, though Mal told me he was still banging heads with the team at practice that year, even after graduation. I had thought Mal played the next few years as well, but his brother tells me he played only that one year, then was injured.
Anyway, he introduced me to a girl who giggled and said her name was "Coconut." I took that at face value for years, because she looked like the sort of girl who might be named Coconut. Mal and I had rather different tastes in women. Coconut and I never did establish any rapport. I am now pretty that wasn't her name after all. She also looked like the sort of girl who would find that funny.
His other claim to fame was leading the then-record 508-person South Carolina streak in 1974, which made the cover of Newsweek. He called to tell me about it, but I couldn't pick him out. I imagine a naked 6-7 guy carrying some sort of torch made out of a broom was pretty noticeable live, though, even in a crowd. If you are wondering whether he is connected to any other Malyerck you've run across, the answer is yes. There aren't many and they are closely related.
I like underdogs anyway, as many of us do, but this was just a bit more fun.