South Carolina was the four seed in the SEC tournament, but Auburn was clearly the better team this year.
The Gamecocks struggled in non-conference play, which basically took them out of NCAA Tournament hopes unless they made a run in the SEC Tournament.
The loss to Auburn secured an NIT birth, and that’s where this team was meant to be. The Gamecocks had AJ Lawson back, but he was still very limited.
When you look at the shooting percentages, both teams were basically even except free throw percentages. South Carolina struggled to hit free throws in the second half and didn’t hit a single one-and-one free throw.
It didn’t help that South Carolina turned the ball over 18 times and Auburn had 10 steals. Chris Silva played one of his best games with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also made all four of his three-pointers.
Felipe Haase and Tre Campbell also played well, but it wasn’t enough to win.
South Carolina was looking forward to seeing themselves on the Selection Sunday show. However, now they will hope to get the call to play in the NIT.
The Gamecocks will have a lot of questions going into next year, but Frank Martin is good enough to bring this team back to tournament contention next year.