‘What happened to number four’ Frank Martin on NCAA Tournament hopes
Coach Frank Martin has guided South Carolina to a top-four seed in the SEC Tournament for the third time in four seasons.
The Gamecocks, by way of their 66-46 win over Georgia on Saturday, will be the No. 4 seed and have a double-bye into the quarterfinal round of the tournament in Nashville. USC will play either fifth-seeded Auburn, 12th-seeded Missouri or 13th-seeded Georgia around 3:30 p.m. Friday in Bridgestone Arena. The game will air on ESPN.
USC’s 11 SEC wins are its third-most in program history.
What’s a double-bye mean for the Gamecocks? “Rest,” said senior guard Hassani Gravett.
South Carolina again played with seven scholarship players in the Georgia win as star freshman A.J. Lawson remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
There’s a decent chance Lawson is available for Friday’s game.
“I think we’ll have A.J. back,” Martin said. “He tried to go today. Push come to shove, he probably could have played. He wouldn’t have been 100 percent. He probably could have played five, six, seven, eight minutes. That’s not the right thing to do.
“Now he gets to rest not just today, but (Sunday), Monday. Tuesday, we’ll do some stuff, but he pretty much gets to rest and then we’ll see if he can go Wednesday, Thursday.”
Georgia coach Tom Crean said there’s “zero question” the Gamecocks (16-15 overall) are an NCAA Tournament team.
SEC Tournament seeds
4. South Carolina
6. Mississippi State
7. Ole Miss
11. Texas A&M
GAME SCHEDULE, TV INFO
All times Eastern
Wednesday’s first round
Game 1: No. 12 seed Missouri vs. No. 13 seed Georgia (7 p.m., SEC Network)
G2: No. 11 seed Texas A&M vs. No. 14 seed Vanderbilt (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
Thursday’s second round
G3: No. 8 seed Florida vs. No. 9 seed Arkansas 1 p.m., SEC Network)
G4: No. 5 seed Auburn vs. G1 winner (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
G5: No. 7 seed Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama (7 p.m., SEC Network)
G6: No. 6 seed Mississippi State vs. G2 winner (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
G7: No. 1 seed LSU vs. G3 winner (1 p.m., ESPN)
G8: No. 4 seed South Carolina vs. G4 winner (25 minutes after end of previous game, ESPN)
G9: No. 2 seed Kentucky vs. Winner of G5 winner (7 p.m., SEC Network)
G10: No. 3 seed Tennessee vs. Winner of G6 winner (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
G11: G7 winner vs. G8 winner No. 1 (1 p.m., ESPN)
G12: G9 winner vs G10 winner (25 minutes after end of previous game, ESPN)
G11 vs. G12 winner (1 p.m., ESPN)