Darius Rucker shed happy tears Sunday afternoon (March 26) when the University of South Carolina Gamecocks — Rucker’s alma mater— upset the No. 4 seeded Florida Gators in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

An emotional moment for many Gamecocks fans, Rucker couldn’t hold back his feelings — a camera caught him between a smile and tear-filled eyes when the final buzzer sounded. The win gives the Gamecocks their first NCAA Final Four appearance in school history.

Perhaps Rucker’s emotional showing stems not only from being an alumnus of the college, but the fact that he also formed his popular ’90s rock band Hootie and the Blowfish at the U of SC. He even earned an honorary doctorate degree from the school in music in 2011. To top it off, he is also a South Carolina native.

When Sports Illustrated asked Rucker about the Gamecocks during postgame, Rucker responded, “I’ve got some guys I went to college with [at the game], and we were like man, we’re in the Garden watching the Gamecocks play to go to the Final Four. If you’d have told me that 10 years ago, I’d have told you, you were on crack. … Being in the Garden for this made it even more special.”

As shown by an Instagram post, Rucker shared in the joy with his son, who also attended the game. South Carolina will face No. 1 seeded Gonzaga on April 1 for their first shot at an NCAA national championship game.

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