COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's about that time when Gamecock fans dress in garnet and black to cheer on the women in Friday night's Final Four game and men in their Saturday game.
The shirts and hats and gear have been selling out of stores across the state, adding to the hype and the big weekend ahead.
Store staff at Addams bookstore in Columbia say Gamecock Nation is practicing support for their teams by shopping, in a big way. Lines formed inside the store all day on Friday, people rushing about to grab the garnet and black gear bearing the two words Final Four.
With both men and women doing well this year, the staff reports their sales have been phenomenal.
"Well, it tells me that the Gamecocks fans are extremely loyal, that it's always great to be a Gamecock. It's never been any sweeter than in this Final Four timeframe, though, to get out there and really show the fact that the Gamecock Nation is behind both
of the teams in a big way," manager Ken Halstead said.
"Everybody's like wearing Gamecock colors again. I remembered like when I toured that was something I loved about the school. Everybody was in Gamecock gear, and it's like that again because everyone's excited getting their Final Four shirts," student Gillian
"Everybody's just walking, walking on air I guess. Right now, it's just so much excitement throughout the whole community, and it's crazy. It's absolutely crazy… and it's fun. It's been a good ride," fan Dallas Willingham said.
The licensed college merchandise tracker Fanatic online reports sales up by 660 percent from this time last year.
Staff members at Addams believe it's that extra, limited quantity 'Final Four', 'Elite Eight' and 'Sweet Sixteen' inventory partly to thank.
"It's probably one of the best things about college athletics, is to see a group of talented young people with a lot of skills come together as a team and even when they sometimes are the underdog, find a way to win. And that brings out a lot of what all of
us as humans are looking for in everything," Halstead said.