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No. 7 South Carolina’s offensive outburst sends No. 2 Duke packing

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Duke is back … on campus.

The No. 2 seed Blue Devils became the second victim of No. 7 seed South Carolina’s home court advantage, losing 88-81 as the Gamecocks continued their insane offensive explosion during this tournament.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say that.

South Carolina’s issue throughout the season, particularly down the stretch, was that they just were not able to score. They ranked 136th nationally in offensive efficiency. Their effective field goal percentage this season, including Friday’s 93-point outburst against Marquette, was 47.1 percent, which was good for 307th nationally. The Gamecocks lost six of their last nine games prior to the start of the NCAA tournament, and in five of those six losses, South Carolina scored less than 1.00 points-per-possession, including a four-overtime loss against Alabama where they managed all of 86 points.

If those numbers are a lot for you, this is really: South Carolina is an elite defensive team that had their shot at an SEC regular season title done in by the fact that they, quite simply, could not score.

Then they put up 93 points on Marquette in the first round of the tournament.

Then they put up 88 points on Duke, including a ridiculous 65 points in the second half. There were ten games this season where South Carolina didn’t manage to score more 65 points, and they won five of them.

But that still doesn’t really tell the whole story. South Carolina shot 71.4 percent from the floor in the second half, making 18 of their first 24 shots. Their effective field goal percentage was 85.7 percent. They shot 21-for-23 from the free throw line, a crisp 91.3 percent for a team that made just 69.2 percent of their free throws on the season.

It was incredible, it was unpredictable and it’s exactly the kind of performance that the Gamecocks needed to make a statement.

Because here’s the truth: this team guards well enough to win a national title. They really do. And if they are going to score the way that they scored this weekend, South Carolina there’s no reason that Frank Martin’s club can’t find their way through what’s left of the East Region and get to a Final Four.

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.