COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina has earned the No. 13 seed and will face No. 12 seed Auburn in the opening round of the 2014 SEC Tournament, set to be held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., March 12-16. The Gamecocks and Tigers are set for a 7 p.m. ET start time on Wednesday, with the contest to be televised on SECTV with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call. The Gamecocks dropped both games to the Tigers during the regular season in 2014. Fans can also listen on the Gamecock Radio Network via GamecocksOnline.com and on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst).
OPENING TIP Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Atlanta, Ga. Arena: Georgia Dome Series: Auburn leads series 22-14 Last Meeting: Auburn win, 83-76, on Feb. 26, 2014 in Auburn, Ala. (Auburn Arena) Broadcast: SEC TV | ESPN3 Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), John Sundvold (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Game Notes | @GamecockMBB on Twitter | Tickets| SECTV Affiliates
Carolina Quick Hits - South Carolina is in its 106th season of basketball. - The Gamecocks are led by Frank Martin in his second year. Matt Figger is the associate head coach, and Perry Clark and Lamont Evans are assistant coaches. Andy Assaley is in his second year as the director of operations for the Gamecocks. - The Gamecocks are in their 23rd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2014. Carolina owns a 136-234 (.368) all-time record in SEC play. - Frank Martin owns a 57-59 (.491) all-time record in conference play. - Despite holding a lead at the half, South Carolina was forced to come from behind to defeat Mississippi State Saturday afternoon in its last regular season contest, 74-62, while earning the team's first road win of the year in the process. It was the Gamecocks first win at Humphrey Coliseum since Jan. 27, 2007. - Leading the second-half charge was senior guard Brenton Williams who tied his career high for 3s made in a game with seven, as he hit five in a row during a 22-4 run midway through the second half. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell also added 22 points and 11 rebounds as he recorded his second double-double of the season. - Trailing by two at the half to No. 1/1 Florida, the Gamecocks were 44-20 in the final 20 minutes as the Gators were led by Michael Frazier II's UF record 11 3-pointers as they won 72-46. Tuesday night at Colonial Life Arena Sophomore forward Mindaugas Kacinas paced Carolina with 12 points and eight rebounds. The 20-point second half total and the 46 points for the game were both season lows as the Gamecocks were stifled by the SEC's top defense. - Propelled by 24 points from senior guard Brenton Williams, South Carolina toppled No. 15/17 Kentucky 72-67 at Colonial Life Arena. It was Carolina's first win versus Kentucky since a 68-62 victory over the Wildcats when UK was ranked No. 1 on Jan. 26, 2010, and it was the Gamecocks' first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 22/24 Vanderbilt, 83-75, on Jan. 8, 2011 in Columbia. - The Gamecocks held the Wildcats to 26.9 percent (14-of-52) from the field. It was Carolina's best defensive effort since holding Longwood to 22.8 percent shooting in the season opener. - Fifteen of Williams' 24 points were scored at the charity stripe as the senior set a new career high for free throws made in a game and attempted in a game (16). - In overall games, South Carolina ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage (.370), third in offensive rebounds per game (13.6) and fifth in free throw percentage (.701) in the SEC. - A 26-point effort from Williams was not enough on the road as South Carolina shot 26.7 percent (8-30) in the first half before falling 83-67 to Auburn on last Wednesday night. Sophomore forward Michael Carrera recorded a season-high 13 rebounds in the game.
Scouting Auburn Auburn enters Wednesday's matchup with a 14-15 overall record, which includes a 6-12 mark in SEC games ... The Tigers are 2-9 when playing away from home this year, with an 0-1 mark in neutral site games ... Auburn is led by one of the nation's top scoring duos in Chris Denson (19.2) and KT Harrell (18.4) which averages a combined 37.6 points ... Denson is second in the conference in scoring, while Harrell ranks sixth ... Against South Carolina, the two have combined for 83 points in two games this season ... Asauhn Dixon-Tatum protects the rim for the Tigers, ranking fourth in the SEC in blocked shots with two per game.
Auburn Series Wednesday's meeting vs. Auburn marks the 37th all-time meeting between the two schools ... The Tigers won the last meeting, 83-67, on Feb. 26, 2014, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala. ... Auburn leads the all-time series 22-14 ... The two teams had split the previous 10 meetings prior this season ... The Tigers hold a 2-0 all-time record against the Gamecocks in the SEC Tournament.
By The Numbers 2 - In SEC games, Sindarius Thornwell leads all freshmen in two categories: scoring (15.6) and assists (4.00). 4 - Senior guard Brenton Williams has hit at least four 3s in nine of 18 SEC games this season. 6 - The Gamecocks have won six of 15 games when the scoring margin is 10 points or less. 6 - In their last 14 games, the Gamecocks have recorded at least six 3s in all but four games during that stretch. 6 - With his sixth 20-point game of the conference season, Thornwell broke B.J. McKie's record for the most by a South Carolina freshman in SEC games. 9 - Sophomore forward Michael Carrera has led Carolina in rebounding in nine of the last 14 games. 13 - Thornwell has recorded double-figures in 13 of 18 SEC games. 18 - Williams has recorded double-figures in 19 of his last 23 games. 35.3 - Since the injury to Tyrone Johnson on Jan. 15, Thornwell and Williams have stepped up their scoring numbers. The duo is averaging a combined 35.3 points in the last 15 games. 36.1 - Since Johnson's injury, Thornwell has assumed much the team's point guard responsibilities and has thrived in the position as a dual-threat, accounting for at least 36.8 percent of the team's points by scoring on his own or distributing the ball. He is averaging 16.0 points and 4.2 assists in the last 15 games to go with 5.0 rebounds. 43.1 - Williams ranks second in the SEC in 3-point percentage at .431 (87-202). 87 - With seven 3-pointers against Mississippi State, Williams' 87 3s ranks second in Carolina's history for most 3s in a season. 94.7 - Williams has hit 107-of-113 free throws this season, which ranks No. 1 in the nation. The current SEC record for free throw percentage in a season was set by Chris Warren of Ole Miss at 92.8 during the 2010-11 season.