South Carolina’s 2016-17 non-conference basketball schedule has its first date.
The Gamecocks will play 2016 NCAA tournament selection Seton Hall on Dec. 12 in the inaugural Under Armour “Reunion” at Madison Square Garden, Seton Hall announced on Thursday. The game is the first of a doubleheader, with Boston College and Auburn playing the nightcap.
The Pirates and Gamecocks will meet for the first time since 1974, a 75-74 USC win in New York in the only other game in the series. It will be one of three games USC plays in New York next season, with the other two at Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena.
The Barclays event has USC facing Syracuse, a 2016 Final Four team, and Monmouth, which like USC was a No. 1 seed in the NIT this year. Those three games should give the Gamecocks respectable RPI and strength of schedule numbers, which were a factor in their exclusion from this year’s NCAA tournament despite a 24-win regular season.
Never miss a local story.
It’s a return to the Big Apple for coach Frank Martin, who has coached three games in New York since he arrived at USC. The Gamecocks lost at St. John’s in his first year but beat Manhattan at Barclays, returning to Barclays in 2014-15 and beating Iowa State.
USC will also host Clemson and Massachusetts next season, while traveling to Memphis and South Florida. The Gamecocks hosted the Tigers and Bulls this year, beating each.
The SEC schedule hasn’t been released but USC will have six of its 18 games against permanent opponents Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi State.
Follow on Twitter at @DCTheState