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USC basketball gets votes in AP poll

Well, that's progress. South Carolina received three votes in this week's Associated Press men's basketball poll, up from zero for the past, oh, four years. (EDIT: USC reports that the last time it got votes was Jan. 10, 2005.)

The votes only actually came from two voters: John Werner of the Waco (Tex.) Tribune-Herald had South Carolina at No. 24, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle TImes had USC as the final team in his poll. Werner covers Baylor, so you can understand where he's coming from. (He voted Baylor No. 16.)

That still makes the Gamecocks the 40th-ranked team in the country. Hey, not too shabby.

No votes in the coaches poll, but the AP poll was kinder to the SEC than the coaches poll. Tennessee only fell to No. 24, preventing the SEC from not having a single team in the top 25. That indignity was reserved for the coaches poll, where Tennessee did fall out and Arkansas - by virtue of its home loss to Mississippi State - did not enter.

USC has not been ranked since the 2003-04 season, the last year it made the NCAA tournament. Trying to check the exact time it even got votes, but that would probably be hard to track down.