USC Men's Basketball to Play in NIT, Clemson makes NCAA
Dominique Archie and the Gamecocks missed the NCAA Tournament and will play in the NIT
K.C. Rivers and Clemson will play Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
By Marvin Beach
The University of South Carolin and Clemson will both play in post-season men's basketball tournaments this March, but not the same one.
The Gamecocks (21-9) will return to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) for the third time in five years. The selection comes after the team lost three of their last four games, including being eliminated in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Coach Darrin Horn said he was "obviously disappointed," in not making the NCAA tournament.
"This team has accomplished a whole lot this year, and I think it exceeded a lot of expectations," Horn said. "The history would tell you that if you're 10-6 in the SEC and divisional co-champ, there is great possibility that you will play in the tournament. And that just wasn't the case this year," Horn said.
South Carolina will host Davidson (26-7) at the Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday in the NIT first round. The Davidson team features Stephen Curry, the nation's leading scorer.
Clemson (23-8) did make the NCAA Tournament, but fell to a No. 7 seed after its first-round loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament.
"We are proud to be selected to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year," said Clemson Coach Oliver Purnell. "We put ourselves in position where we were watching the selection show to see where we would go and whom we would play, not to see if we got in the field."
Clemson plays No. 10 seed Michigan (20-13) on Thursday night in Kansas City, Missouri.