USC Gamecocks Baseball

Ray Tanner: 'I won’t go as far as to say I’m a Clemson fan, but...'

So how many emails has Ray Tanner gotten from Clemson fans following the release of the NCAA baseball tournament bracket.

“I’ve been contacted a few times but it hasn’t been terrible,” South Carolina’s athletics director said.

Tanner served as the chairman of the NCAA baseball selection committee this year, and that committee tabbed the Tigers as the No. 10 seed, just outside the exclusive top eight, which guarantees a team will host a Super Regional if it advances. Clemson (45-14, 22-8 ACC) was considered a bubble team for a top eight seed.

“A lot of people understand the situation,” said Tanner, who won back-to-back national titles as South Carolina’s baseball coach. “I think we all know that (Clemson coach) Monte Lee and I go back a long way. That was going to be scrubbed very thoroughly.”

Lee was an assistant coach under Tanner at South Carolina from 2003-2008.

“I won’t go as far as to say I’m a Clemson fan, but I’m a Monte Lee fan,” Tanner said. “I’ve said that many times. We felt like we got that one right. It was close. It was very, very close from five to 11, to the point that we scrubbed so many metrics and he was just outside the top eight.”