Fans help push South Carolina WBB to another Final Four

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 8:43 PM EDT
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (FOX Carolina) - This season nearly 200,000 fans filled the seats at Colonial Life Arena to watch the South Carolina Women’s Basketball team played.

That’s an average of more than 12,000 fans each game, and that number is nothing new.

“I think it does make a difference for South Carolina. The fact that they can get that much support behind them in a close game. They know they’ve got their back when they make a big play, you know they’re going to hear it. When they need a little pick me up you’re going to hear it from the fams. They do a great job,” said Brad Muller, Radio Play-by-Play Announcer for South Carolina Women’s Basketball.

Muller has been the radio voice of South Carolina Women’s Basketball for 15 years.

He says what the program has turned into under Head Coach Dawn Staley, who started one year after him, is almost unimaginable.

“Looking back 15 years ago if you would have told me this is where we would have been, I would have been like wow how did we do it. And it’s neat,” he said.

The play on the court has turned South Carolina into a perennial contender and has continued to grow the fanbase.

South Carolina Women’s Basketball has led the nation in home attendance numbers since 2015.

“They’ve been with us. Not just this year, they’ve been with us when we weren’t a popular team, or we weren’t a whole lot to cheer about,” said Staley.

Gamecock fans from all over the country are making their way to Minneapolis, like Aeryn Hawkins from Las Vegas.

She’s heard about the atmosphere in Columbia, and would like to see it firsthand one day.

“I only went to a game in Cincinnati when they played there, so just experiencing that now would be honestly exciting for me, just to know how it’s like,” she said.

Even though the Target Center is more than 1,200 miles away from Colonial Life Arena, there should be plenty of Garnet and Black in the stands this weekend.

South Carolina tips-off against the Louisville Cardinals at 7 p.m. ET on Friday with a trip to the national championship on the line.