Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

College hoops returns during a pandemic so we can have an 81-point blowout nobody needed

South Carolina guard Zia Cooke (r.) Olivia Thompson, and LeLe Grissett, remain seated during the conclusion of the national anthem, as coaches Dawn Staley and Fred Chmiel, (l.), stand on the sideline before their game.
South Carolina guard Zia Cooke (r.) Olivia Thompson, and LeLe Grissett, remain seated during the conclusion of the national anthem, as coaches Dawn Staley and Fred Chmiel, (l.), stand on the sideline before their game.
Image: (AP)

A tweet on Wednesday afternoon that got 10,000 retweets and quote tweets, and nearly 40,000 likes in the first six hours it was up showed a score of No. 1 South Carolina 119, College of Charleston 7.

This is, of course, not the real final score. South Carolina did score 119, but College of Charleston did not lose by 112 points. The Cougars lost by 81 — 119-38.

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South Carolina coach Dawn Staley’s reaction? “We have a long way to go.” What, like actually winning by 112 points?

Before the game, all but one South Carolina player remained seated during the playing of the national anthem, with the team explaining that while those who sat did so in the name of racial justice, Elysa Wesolek’s decision to stand was “in honor of her family’s military service” and that “the two positions are not mutually exclusive.”

Unfortunately, the Gamecocks’ statement that “respect for each other is the starting point to understanding ‘What Matters’” raises another question about the game itself: namely, was this something that really mattered?

South Carolina reported 1,243 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with a 13.8 percent test positivity rate. Hospital bed occupancy in Richland County, where the university is, stands at 70.3 percent, with even less room available at facilities in neighboring Kershaw and Lexington Counties. In Charleston County, there are fewer than 300 hospital beds available, with occupancy at 77.8 percent.

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Did a 119-38 game really matter enough to have 3,500 people show up at an arena in the middle of a raging pandemic? So that seven South Carolina players could score in double figures — four with double-doubles — while no Charleston player scored more than Taylor Williams’ 9, on 4-of-21 shooting?

The Gamecocks now head the Women’s Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, a totally real event this weekend that is happening in Sioux Falls, SD, a city handling COVID-19 so brilliantly that their mask ordinance just went into effect this week, and the FAQ page about it mentions a “6-food [sic] physical distance.” What six foods? Maybe popcorn kernels, because an example of a mask exemption given is “a group of ten people or less at a movie together would not have to wear face coverings as long as they maintain 6-foot social distancing from other movie patrons).

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Saturday’s showings at the Century Stadium 14 in Sioux Falls include Frozen and The Santa Clause, because the only thing dumber than getting coronavirus by going to the movies is getting coronavirus by going to the movies and seeing something you could have watched on Disney+.

At least the Women’s Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic (again, a totally real event) won’t have fans in attendance at the Sanford Pentagon, the real name of the building where it’s happening.

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There were several other college basketball games on Wednesday, men’s and women’s. Not a single one was important in any way except for a women’s game that pitted a Division I school against a Division II opponent.

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George Washington beat Lincoln, 53-38.

Glad that’s settled. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sorry to all the other Jesse Spectors for ruining your Google results.

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