South Carolina Gamecocks Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Lamont Paris

Team Mascot: Cocky

Year Opened: 2002

Capacity: 18000

City / State: Columbia / South Carolina

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

South Carolina vs Clemson

Rival Team: Clemson Tigers

Unlike other college basketball rivalries, the rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina runs much deeper than the hardwood. The two schools were founded 88 years apart as Clemson was established to satisfy the agrarian movement’s request for more agricultural education after South Carolina refused to expand their agriculture program. On the court, the two teams have met 167 times with the Gamecocks holding a 90-77 lead, so don’t miss it when Clemson comes to town.

South Carolina vs Georgia

Rival Team: Georgia Bulldogs

The Gamecocks and Bulldogs have a fierce rivalry on the gridiron that carries over onto the hardwood. The two teams have a protected rivalry and play a home and home series every year, so if you can only attend one game a year then the South Carolina-Georgia game is the one to see.

South Carolina Gamecocks Stadium Guide

In Game

South Carolina’s basketball program has been on an upward trajectory in recent years, and it can be seen in the atmosphere found at Colonial Life Arena. Basketball may still be the third most popular sport at South Carolina, after football and baseball, but you’ll see plenty of passion on display when attending a Gamecocks basketball game. The fans arrive in large numbers to support their team, and the arena is rocking whenever there is a big game. The Garnet Army student section, in particular, is on top of their game and will lend their support throughout the game no matter what the score.

You’ll also see lots of tributes to the Gamecocks rich basketball history inside the arena. Not only are there numerous banners hanging from the rafters, but Colonial Life Arena is also home to the University of South Carolina Basketball Hall of Fame. Gamecocks fans and even just basketball fans will want to arrive early and take it all in before the game.

In addition to the great atmosphere and history around the arena, you also won’t leave Colonial Life Arena hungry thanks to the wide variety of concessions available. Not only will you find the typical arena fare, but the concession stands here also offer kettle corn, Philly cheesesteaks, and even Thai food.

If you are still hungry after the game, never fear, as downtown Columbia features lots of great dining options. Hickory Tavern, Mellow Mushroom, and The Thirsty Fellow, among others, all offer an excellent place to grab a drink or a bite to eat.

You’ll have an excellent time attending a South Carolina Gamecocks basketball game where you’ll encounter a festive atmosphere, great fan support, and plenty to eat and drink.

Things to check out

Basketball Hall of Fame

Stop by the University of South Carolina Basketball Hall of Fame inside Colonial Life Arena to learn more about the Gamecocks illustrious basketball history. The Hall of Fame features tributes to all of the best players and moments in Gamecocks history making it a must see for South Carolina fans everywhere.

Gamecock Statue

In the main lobby is a unique Gamecock statue that everyone should take a peek at as they enter the arena. The one of a kind piece of art is one of many things to see as you enter the arena, so keep your eyes peeled for it.


The Gamecocks have numerous banners hanging from the rafters of Colonial Life Arena honoring the program's many accomplishments. Take a second to enjoy the banners and remember your favorite Gamecocks memories.

Sir Big Spur

The live mascot at South Carolina games goes back to when Eric Hyman took over as athletic director in 2005 and was looking for a way to add excitement to the Gamecock gameday experience. Someone mentioned that a fan had been bringing a live rooster to Gamecock baseball games and the rest is history.

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Cocky was "born" in 1980 when he took over for his dad, Big Spur, at South Carolina athletic events. He's become one of the most recognizable mascots in college football and is a part of the Gamecock tradition, so keep an eye out for at the game.

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Garnet Army

The student section at South Carolina is known as the Garnet Army and can bee seen on game days dressed in camo. Garnet Army is home to the loudest and rowdiest fans inside Colonial Life Arena, so join in on their chants and cheers to propel the Gamecocks to victory.

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Fight Songs

  1. GAME! COCKS! Chant

    One-half of the stadium chants GAME! And the other half responds with COCKS!

    Game! Cocks!

    Game! Cocks!

    Game! Cocks!

  2. Step to the Rear

    South Carolina’s fight song

    Hey, Let’s give a cheer, Carolina is here,
    The Fighting Gamecocks lead the way.

    Who gives a care, If the going gets tough,
    And when it is rough, that’s when the ‘Cocks get going.

    Hail to our colors of garnet and Black,
    In Carolina pride have we.

    So, Go Gamecocks Go – FIGHT!
    Drive for the goal – FIGHT!
    USC will win today – GO COCKS!
    So, let’s give a cheer, Carolina is here.
    The Fighting Gamecocks All The Way!

  3. We Hail Thee Carolina

    South Carolina’s alma mater

    We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise
    With loyal devotion, remembering the days
    When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be:
    Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

    (Only the first verse is sung or played.)

    Since pilgrims of learning, we entered thy walls
    And found dearest comrades in thy classic halls
    We’ve honored and loved thee as sons faithfully;
    Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

    Generations of sons have rejoiced to proclaim
    Thy watchword of service, thy beauty and fame;
    For ages to come shall their rallying cry be:
    Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

    Fair shrine of high honor and truth, thou shalt still
    Blaze forth as a beacon, thy mission fulfill,
    And crowned by all hearts in a new jubilee:
    Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

  4. Sandstorm

    "Sandstorm" was first played at Williams-Brice on a day when South Carolina was on the verge of upsetting the No. 4 ranked Ole Miss Rebels.The Gamecocks defense was on top of its game that day, and the crowd was into it. All of a sudden, "Sandstorm" hit the speakers, and the place went crazy. A tradition was born in an instant. Now, "Sandstorm" is played at a variety of Game Cock sporting events, so go crazy when you hear this tune.

    Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dundun dun dundundun dun dun dun dun dun dun dundun dundun
    Dundun dundun dundun
    Dun dun dun dun dun
    Dun dun
    Daddaddadadsadadadadadadadadadaddadadadadadaddadadaddadadadadadadadadadadadaddadddadaddadadadd dadadadaddaddada
    Nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nnyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu
    Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
    Nnn nn nn nn nn nn n nn nnn nn nn nnn nnn nnnnnnnn
    Dddddddd ddadadadadaddadadadadadaadadadadadad
    Nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu
    Nyunyunyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu nyu
    Ddudndundun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dund
    Chi chichi chi chi chih

South Carolina Gamecocks Bars & Restaurants

  1. Wet Willie’s

    Wet Willies

    A world-renowned institution serving high-quality food and the world's greatest frozen daiquiris.

    800 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. River Rat Brewery

    River Rat Brewery

    Craft beers that would satisfy anyone’s thirst after a long day's work.

    1231 Shop Rd, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company

    Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company

    Columbia's third Microbrewery. Pet-friendly with a laid-back atmosphere!

    921 Brookwood Dr, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  4. Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Ale House

    Hunter Gatherer Brewery and Ale House

    The Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at Owens Field will feature a taproom, a 17bbl (527 gallon) brewhouse, a bottling and kegging line.

    900 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  5. Copper Horse Distilling

    Copper Horse Distilling

    Copper Horse Distilling produces premium, small-batch spirits in distinctive, handcrafted brands: Old Mill Vodka, Bulle Rock Gin, our Bold Rum, a special edition cream whiskey series, and our still-aging Bourbon.

    929 Huger St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. Liberty Tap Room & Grill

    Liberty Tap Room and Grill

    Liberty Tap Room & Grill provides patrons with creative twists on traditional American fare, served alongside signature Liberty Ales, unique draft beer and craft brews.

    828 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. Hickory Tavern

    Hurricane Maggies Bar and Grill

    The Hickory Tavern is the perfect place for a business lunch, after work happy hour, or to go watch any game!

    907 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  8. Tin Roof

    Tin Roof

    The tasty food, fun eclectic environment, community of Regulars, and friendly Crew have established the Roof as the place to be for musicians and non-musicians alike!

    1022 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. The Whig

    The Whig

    A cool dive bar that has a great vibe, food, bartenders, and beer selection.

    1200 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  10. Carolina Ale House

    Carolina Ale House

    Casual restaurant & sports-bar chain featuring American pub fare, a long beer list & a kids' menu.

    708 Lady St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  11. Pavlov’s


    Whether you like to sit at our bar, try your hand at billiards in the pool table area or enjoy the famously hot Columbia weather on our front porch, you are sure to find what you are looking for.

    2000 Greene St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  12. The Kraken Gastropub

    The Kraken Gastropub

    With 30 beers on tap, The Kraken Gasropub is believed to have the largest draught beer selection in town among bars and restaurants that are locally owned.

    2910 Rosewood Dr #1, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  13. Thirsty Fellow

    Thirsty Fellow beer pizza

    A comfortable atmosphere, a great menu, a full bar and plenty of televisions.

    621 Gadsden St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  14. Rockaway Athletic Club

    Rockaway Athletic Club

    Best Burgers & Coldest Beverages for over 30 years! Featuring THE SOUTH CAROLINA LIQUOR LIBRARY

    2719 Rosewood Dr, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  15. Paco’s Mobile Tacos

    Pacos Mobile Tacos

    Amazingly delicious Mexican food that you might want to take home as well.

    650 Harden St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    mexican - $

  16. Maurice’s BBQ Piggie Park

    Maurices BBQ Piggie Park

    Our barbequed meats are smoked naturally with local 100% hickory and oak wood in a one-of-a-kind barbecue pit that operates 24 hours a day.

    4411 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  17. True BBQ

    True BBQ

    At True BBQ we make you our guest #1 each time you are here at the restaurant. We desire to be the best BBQ restaurant from our food to our service.

    1237 D Ave, West Columbia, SC 29169, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $

  18. Lizard’s Thicket

    Lizards Thicket

    Their traditional Southern menu offers a wide variety of well rounded nutritional meals at a great value.

    7411 Nates Rd, Columbia, SC 29223, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  19. WG’s Wings

    WGs Wings

    Great, fantastic wings and good friendly staff!

    736 St Andrews Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  20. Solstice Kitchen

    Solstice Kitchen

    Eat Local, Eat Great, Eat With Us!

    841 Sparkleberry Ln #4, Columbia, SC 29229, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$$

  21. Palmetto Pig Bar-B-Q Restaurant

    Palmetto Pig BarBQ

    The Palmetto Pig is home to Columbia, South Carolina’s best BBQ! We offer all the southern classics you grew up loving, buffet style, with our own unique twist.

    530 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $$

  22. Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet

    Docs Barbeque and Southern Buffet

    The absolute best southern cuisine at a reasonable price.

    1601 Shop Rd, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    american - bbq - $

  23. Groucho’s Deli

    Grouchos Deli

    "Quality is the most important ingredient in a sandwich."

    4717 Forest Dr, Columbia, SC 29206, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  24. Pawleys Front Porch

    Pawleys Front Porch

    This place serves big, juicy, and super delicious burgers!

    827 Harden St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  25. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot

    We are famous for our hand-tossed NY-style pizza, available by the slice or a whole pie. Other menu favorites include wings, sandwiches, salads, strombolis, and calzones.

    2009 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  26. Yesterday’s Restaurant

    Yesterdays Restaurant

    Real food for real people.

    2030 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  27. Blue Marlin


    The aroma of Low Country flavors coming out from the back kitchens could not be ignored.

    1200 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    steakhouse - $$

  28. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits

    Bojangles Famous Chicken&Biscuits

    Becoming a legendary tailgater is easy. Just pick up a Big Bo Box before the game, and you're all set. It's tailgating season, y'all!

    7756 Garners Ferry Rd, Columbia, SC 29209, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  29. Bernie’s Restaurant

    Bernies Restaurant

    Featuring "Broasted style chicken". Voted best chicken in Columbia many times!

    1311 Bluff Rd, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $

  30. The Loose Cockaboose

    The Loose Cockaboose beer

    THE only true Carolina bar, located just a block from Williams-Brice, we are THE ONLY BAR at the stadium!

    936 S Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC 29201, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $$