Aaron Rodgers and his Wisconsin Badgers may have been booted out of Madison Square Garden on Friday night, but another celebrity fan and his team stepped up to face Florida in the Elite Eight on Sunday afternoon.
This time, they won. Country singer Darius Rucker is a huge South Carolina fan and he made sure he was sitting courtside with his son Jack as his Gamecocks reached their first-ever Final Four with a 77-70 victory.
“I’ve been telling all of my friends that being in [Madison Square Garden] watching the Gamecocks play in the Elite Eight, that’s pretty unbelievable,” the Charleston, S.C. native told Yahoo Sports at halftime. “The atmosphere is crazy, this is what college basketball is all about, we’re loving every minute of it.”
CBS television cameras caught a very emotional Rucker celebrating after the game.
He's such a baby the Gamecocks make him cry. pic.twitter.com/5IjCvZRIVn
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) March 26, 2017
South Carolina coach Frank Martin was asked about Rucker in the postgame news conference.
“Everyone knows Darius,” Martin said. “But to see how important this school is to him, as successful as he is in life, just continues to show me what special people we have supporting our university.”
Rucker has always been known as a big sports fan, even writing lyrics about his beloved Miami Dolphins into his hit songs with Hootie and the Blowfish.
Before last football season, Rucker pledged that he’d play a free concert for students should South Carolina win at least six games. The Gamecocks did and the show is scheduled for April 5.
And when Friday’s concert in Charleston coincided with South Carolina’s Sweet 16 matchup against Baylor, Rucker had an easy solution. Check out the monitors at the front of the stage.
— Matt Roberts (@AD_MattRoberts) March 25, 2017
The good news for Rucker apart from Sunday’s win? He’ll be in Las Vegas for a show on Thursday night but is off after that until Tuesday, which should give him plenty of time to attend the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.
It’s hard to believe, but that April 5 concert in Columbia, S.C. could end up being a bigger party than they could have ever imagined.
More NCAA tournament coverage on Yahoo Sports:
• Recently fired Tom Crean attends Indiana women’s basketball game
• Darius Rucker won’t miss South Carolina basketball, even when there’s a concert
• Frank Mason’s Kansas career ends without a Final Four appearance
• Oregon stuns Kansas to reach first Final Four in 78 years
• Gonzaga throttles Xavier to send Mark Few to his first Final Four