USC Men's Basketball

Report: South Carolina basketball adds reigning Sweet 16 team to schedule

A reigning Sweet 16 participant is coming to Colonial Life Arena this upcoming season.

South Carolina will host Houston, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported Thursday.

The game is part of the new alliance made this offseason between the SEC and American Athletic Conference. The Gamecocks will then travel to face the Cougars in Texas in 2020-21.

Houston, coached by Kelvin Sampson, went 33-4 last year and advanced to the Midwest Region semifinal, where it lost to Kentucky. The Cougars have made the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons. They came in at No. 20 in ESPN’s way-too-early rankings for 2019-20.

USC coach Frank Martin told The State last week that the schedule is near completion.

“There’s a hiccup on a game there that I can’t speak about, that I don’t know it’s going to happen,” Martin said while visiting Shaw Air Force Base. “But we got a buy game we gotta find. So as soon as we get that buy game, we’re good to go.”

The SEC schedule has yet to be released, but here’s what we know about the Gamecocks’ 2019-20 non-conference slate:

Nov. 16 — Rutgers (in Toronto)

Nov. 19 — Boston University

Nov. 22 — Gardner-Webb

Nov. 26 — Wichita State (Cancun Challenge in Mexico)

Nov. 27 — West Virginia or Northern Iowa (Cancun Challenge in Mexico)

Dec. 18 — at Virginia

TBA — at Coastal Carolina

TBA — at Clemson

TBA — Houston

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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