South Carolina Selected To NIT Field, Will Host Davidson On Tuesday
March 15, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of South Carolina (21-9) men's basketball team will host Davidson College (26-7) in the first round of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina, the SEC Eastern Division Co-Champions, will face Davidson, the Southern Conference Regular Season Champion live on ESPN2. The Gamecocks are the No. 3 seed on the left side of the bracket while Davidson is the No. 6 seed. The two teams meet for the first time since South Carolina defeated Davidson, 100-73, in the opening round of the 1996 NIT. The winner of the South Carolina versus Davidson contest will play the winner of second-seeded St. Mary's (CA) (26-6) versus No.7 seed Washington State (17-15).
South Carolina's appearance in the postseason NIT is its 11th overall and first since the 2005-06 season when the Gamecocks earned their second consecutive postseason NIT Championship. South Carolina has won the postseason NIT twice (2005, 2006) and finished as the tournament's runner-up in 2002.
The Gamecocks hold a 39-27 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools. The series, which began during the 1909-10 campaign, will be renewed on Tuesday for the first time since the 1995-96 season. South Carolina owns a 24-9 advantage in games played in Columbia.
South Carolina finished the 2009 SEC campaign with a 10-6 record, its first double-digit win total in conference play since the 1998 campaign. The Gamecocks earned a share of the SEC Eastern Division title alongside NCAA Tournament participant Tennessee. South Carolina earned a bye in the first round of play at the SEC Tournament and suffered a loss to eventual tournament champion Mississippi State in the quarterfinals.
Tuesday's matchup will see Gamecock All-SEC point guard Devan Downey against Southern Conference Player of the Year, Wildcat point guard Stephen Curry. Downey leads the Gamecocks in scoring (19.9 ppg), assists (4.5) and steals (2.9), while Curry leads the NCAA in scoring (28.6 ppg), while dishing 5.5 assists and adding 2.5 steals per game.
Tickets for the opening round of the postseason NIT are available immediately. Ticket prices stand at $18 for lower bowl seats, $15 for upper bowl seats and $4 dollars for student tickets. Fans can buy tickets online at www.GamecocksOnline.com, by visiting the Gamecock ticket office at Colonial Life Arena or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS.
Also selected from the SEC, Auburn (No. 1 seed on left side of bracket), Kentucky (No. 4 seed on right side of bracket) and Florida (No. 1 seed on right side of bracket).