South Carolina Was a Victim of a Cruel Sick Joke by the NCAA
March 31 / Geoff Magliocchetti / SportsGrid
The University of South Carolina and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament aren't exactly a match made in Heaven. The Gamecocks last made the tournament in 2004, and haven't won a game in the Big Dance since 1973. The 2015-16 season started off very hopeful for the other USC, with a 15-0 debut. That smoking hot pace died down a little bit once SEC play commenced, but they were still constantly in the discussion when it came to handing out invitations on the 2016 edition of the tournament.
And for a few brief seconds, that dream came true. Alas, it indeed was only a dream.
On Thursday, USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner confirmed to Gamecock Nation that for 10 brief minutes, the Gamecocks were a tournament team. However, after those 600 seconds of jubilation, they received another call from NCAA, revealing that there had been some sort of mistake.
The news was first confirmed by Tanner to WIS (Columbia, SC), who was told first that the Gamecocks were slated to partake in a First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. However, the ensuing heartbreaking call revealed that South Carolina's SEC brother Vanderbilt was the ones who were Dayton-bound.
An e-mail from NCAA Vice-President of Men's Basketball Championships Dan Gavitt cleared things up.
Unlike the Commodores, the Gamecocks did actually end up winning a postseason game this season. Whereas Vandy was crushed by Wichita State by a 70-50 final, the Gamecocks went on to the NIT, where they were one of the top four seeds. They took down High Point in the first round before falling to Georgia Tech.
Follow Geoff Magliocchetti on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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