USC head basketball coach Frank Martin and his team arrived in Greenville Wednesday afternoon looking very relaxed as they get ready to get to work in the Upstate.
The team will work out Thursday afternoon at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena from 5;10 pm to 5:50 pm in a practice that will be open to the public.
Martin says to be an actual participant in the Big Dance is a special accomplishment by his players.
"Anyone who is involved in college basketball,coaching or playing, that means you grew up watching it on TV," Martin said.
"There's nothing like hearing that song and that Thursday game when it tips off. As a player and a coach, you want to be part of that and I don't care how much I prepare our guys, when we take that court tomorrow for practice, the open practice and once we take the court for the game itself, for us there's some butterflies there, I don't care how many times you play in it. It's one or our goals and you shoot for it since you were young watching it on TV and now you realize 'we're in this thing.'".
Tipoff with Marquette is set for 9:57 pm. The Gamecocks are making their first NCAA appearance since 2004 and are looking for its first Tournament win since 1973.