Gamecocks end 13-year NCAA absence, to open against Marquette in Greenville

Posted March 13, 2017

The Tar Heels present a formidable challenge as UNC won the ACC regular season championship before being upended in the semifinals by eventual tournament champion Duke. The 1997 team would earn a two seed behind the efforts of Larry Davis, Melvin Watson and BJ McKie, with McKie leading the Gamecocks back a year later as a three seed.

BracketMatrix.com, which averages 126 different projections, giving more weight to the ones that have been more historically accurate, has the Gamecocks as an average 8.53 seed.

7 seed and will play No. 10 seed Marquette on Friday in Greenville. Williams is 26-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament's round of 64.

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They'll open up shop against the Marquette Golden Eagles in Greenville, South Carolina. The victor of that game will advance to the second round for a game against either #2 Duke or #15 Troy. And sure, it's tough to penalize a team for losing late in the conference tournament, but Duke had enough buzz heading into Sunday to put UNC's No. 1 seed hopes into question. The victor of Friday's contest will advance to Sunday's second round game against either No. 8 seed Arkansas or No. 9 seed Seton Hall. In all, UNC has four players averaging double-figures in scoring.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Gamecocks at a No. 8 seed in the West region playing No. 9 Oklahoma State at Salt Lake City.

Not only is SC back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 seasons, but the Gamecocks won't have to travel very far to get there.