BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference released its men's basketball league schedule for the 2012 season on Thursday. Each of South Carolina's conference contests will be televised, with three games to be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, nine on the SEC Network, two on CSS and two on FSN. The Gamecocks will host eight conference matchups at Colonial Life Arena, including contests with NCAA participants Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Vanderbilt.
Additionally, South Carolina's non-conference home contest versus Ohio State will be televised on ESPN with a Noon start time at Colonial Life Arena on Dec. 17, 2011.
The 2012 SEC schedule will still follow the divisional format of previous seasons, however, the divisions will not play a factor in seeding for the 2012 SEC Tournament. The tournament will be seeded 1-12, with the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye.
South Carolina kicks off conference action away from Columbia for the first time since the 2010 league season with a trip to Lexington, Ky., to face the Wildcats (Jan. 7, 4 p.m., SEC Network), before returning home for two straight games when Carolina hosts Vanderbilt (Jan. 10, 9 p.m., ESPNU) and Florida (Jan. 14, 7 p.m., CSS). South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt in thrilling fashion last season, earning an overtime victory in the SEC opener behind then-senior Sam Muldrow's triple-double, which included 10 blocks. The Gamecocks and Gators split the season series in 2011, with both teams winning on the opponents' home court.
After an early season mid-week bye date, the Gamecocks travel to Auburn (Jan. 21, 1:30 p.m., SEC Network) and host Alabama (Jan. 25, 8 p.m., SEC Network) before consecutive road contests at Ole Miss (Jan. 28, 7 p.m., FSN) and at Florida (Feb. 2, 9 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2). Kentucky makes the return trip to Colonial Life Arena in early February (Feb. 4, 6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2), followed by Carolina road trips to Tennessee (Feb. 8, 8 p.m., SEC Network) and Arkansas (Feb. 11, 1:30 p.m., SEC Network) the following week.
The Gamecocks will host four of the final six games of the league campaign in Columbia, beginning with a home contest against Georgia (Feb. 15, 7 p.m., CSS), before LSU (Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m., SEC Network) visits Colonial Life Arena for a Saturday matinee. Carolina travels to Vanderbilt (Feb. 22, 8 p.m., SEC Network) before hosting Tennessee (Feb. 25, 8 p.m., FSN) and Mississippi State (Feb. 29, 8 p.m., SEC Network) on Senior Night.
South Carolina concludes the regular season at Georgia (March 3, 1:30 p.m., SEC Network), in preparation for the 2012 SEC Tournament, which will be held in New Orleans, La., March 8-11. The SEC Basketball Tournament semifinals and championship game will be broadcast nationally on ABC, while the SEC Network will televise the first two rounds of the tournament.
In the third year of its historic agreements with CBS Sports and ESPN, each of the 96 conference games will be televised live. Almost half of the SEC's league games will be distributed nationally with ESPN or ESPN2 televising 27 contests, ESPNU showing eight and CBS Sports five. The SEC's games on the ESPN family of networks are exclusively branded as the "SEC on ESPN."
Regionally-syndicated games will be televised on the SEC Network as part of ESPN Regional Television (ERT). The SEC Network will televise 37 intra-conference games while Fox Sports Net will show 10 contests and CSS nine. The majority of games not televised nationally will be available as a part of ESPN Full Court, the pay subscription college basketball out-of-market service, and on ESPN3.com. In addition, ERT will produce and distribute a studio show each Saturday afternoon during conference play and at the SEC Tournament.
Below is a complete listing of South Carolina's SEC games for the 2012 season.