COLUMBIA, S.C. - In their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time, South Carolina (22-4) earned the No.1 seed in the Hemisfair Region and will face 16th-seeded Mercer Bears (19-6) on Sunday, March 21 at 6 p.m. with the contest set to be televised on ESPN in the event’s opening round. The No. 6/5 Gamecocks will play in San Antonio in the first round, and, if they advance to the second round will take on the winner of the first-round game between No. 8 Oregon State (11-7) and No. 9 Florida State (10-8) on Tuesday, March 23.
The Gamecocks repeated as SEC Tournament champion this season after one of the toughest schedules in the country. South Carolina’s opponent winning percentage of .680 is the best in the nation and its 13 games against ranked foes are the most in the country. The Gamecocks have been ranked in the top five of the AP Poll in all but one week this season, including three weeks at No. 1.
This is the ninth-consecutive NCAA Tournament bid for the Gamecocks, the longest streak in program history. South Carolina reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time in 2015 before capturing its first NCAA Championship in 2017. The Gamecocks have played in 10 Sweet 16s in their 16 previous times in the event, reaching that round in seven of their last eight tournament appearances and advancing to the Elite Eight three times in their last five NCAA Tournaments. South Carolina owns a 30-15 record all-time in the event.