Garnet and black pride gets national attention with dual Final Four appearances

Updated: Mar. 28, 2017 at 10:05 PM EDT
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CAYCE, SC (WIS) - At Garnet and Black Traditions in Cayce garnet and black items are moving out almost as fast as they are rolling in - especially if they say "Final Four" on them.

Frances Parker showed up in search of a t-shirt for her daughter.

"We are moving lots of merchandise. We're just getting in merchandise sometimes twice a day and we have online orders that you can also order, so merchandise is coming and going out very fast," Anita Costley said.

Being the super fan that she is, Parker says she predicted a men's Final Four matchup between Frank Martin's Gamecocks and Gonzaga.

"I just go with my gut instinct," Parker said. "And I believe in my Gamecocks. I'm a ride or die fan. I don't care, win or lose I'm there. Forever to thee."

But along with that kind of sentiment and loyalty, Carolina basketball's success in the post-season is now spurring interest nationwide.

Coverage of the games, of course, gets attention from sources as diverse as the New York Times and rapper Lil Wayne.

Despite a quiet Tuesday on campus, there is real excitement among administrators about the impacts of basketball success.

On everything from student enrollment to alumni support.

"It certainly can't hurt. It might even help," USC Director of Undergraduate Admissions Mary Wagner said. "We have a great national recruitment strategy already. We have a lot of students who know about the university nationwide. This certainly helps more people look a little bit more closely because they've heard about the university from a lot of the media attention."

The enrollment period for the fall semester has passed, so we might not see a bump from the positive publicity right away.

But fans, students, and school officials say the exposure has to be helpful.

Imagine what that would involve if either of these teams goes all the way to a national championship.

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