Students took to the Thomas Cooper Library fountain to celebrate the 2023 Women’s College Basketball Championship victory. (Photo by Mingo Martin/Carolina News and Reporter)

Confetti was raining down in Cleveland as USC students in Columbia ran to the Thomas Cooper Library fountain to celebrate their women’s basketball team’s third national championship.

The April 7 victory saw the University of South Carolina Gamecocks complete their “revenge tour” over the Iowa Hawkeyes, who defeated the team last season in the Final Four in Dallas.

It wasn’t long before the fountain and reflecting pool became a swimming pool for students.

The Gamecocks became the 10th team in NCAA Division 1 history to complete an undefeated season with the win.

They are the first team to do it since Connecticut in 2016.

For USC senior Taylor Burger, it all felt like a long time coming.

“We deserve this … revenge tour completed,” Burger said. “As a senior, it feels like the best experience you could ever experience. … All the women in the state of South Carolina deserve this win.”

USC sophomore Luke Olson wasn’t around to rush the fountain when the Gamecocks last won the title in 2022. But this season’s championship let him experience that moment.

“We love it,” Olson said. “We knew we were the best coming in. They thought they had a chip on their shoulder but, no. We’re the best team. We win the championship.”

The tradition of jumping in the fountain is something students have done for many years to celebrate the Gamecocks’ greatest accomplishments. It happened during the 2017 season when both the men’s and women’s basketball programs made the Final Four in Phoenix and Dallas.

The men did not make a return trip to Phoenix this season. But the women repeated their side of that storied season and ended up cutting down the nets.

“The men’s team had a disappointing run,” Olson said. “But we’re back.”

The Gamecocks will return home to Colonial Life Arena for a welcome home event starting no later than 2 p.m. Monday, with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.

A student holds up a sign to celebrate as the fountain party begins. (Photo by Mingo Martin/Carolina News and Reporter)

Thomas Cooper Library is filled to capacity with students during the celebration. (Photo by Mingo Martin/Carolina News and Reporter)

(Video Courtesy of the University of South Carolina/Carolina News and Reporter)