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NIT Preview: South Carolina vs. Georgia Tech

South Carolina tips off in the second round of the NIT Monday night against fourth seed Georgia Tech.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (25-8) vs. Georgia Tech (20-14)

WATCH: 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

In the shadow of one of the craziest NCAA Tournaments in recent memory, South Carolina will tip-off in its second game of the 2016 National Invitational Tournament.

An unusual 9:00 p.m. ET tip time sets the start at Colonial Life Arena Monday night when they Gamecocks take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the NIT's second round.

No. 1 seed USC dominated High Point in their opening round match. Five Carolina players were suspended indefinitely before tip-off against the Panthers, and their status remains up in the air entering Monday's contest.

Michael Carrera returned and notched his team-leading 11th double-double of the season. Carrera has posted the most double-doubles in a season since Emmett Hall's 11 during the 1993-94 season. With Carrera back, the Gamecocks pounded the ball inside - much to the joy of Laimonas Chatkevicius. He tallied a career-high 30 points in the win, going 15-of-16 from the field and hitting 13 consecutive field goal attempts. The senior helped South Carolina make its most field goals in a game since 2007.

While USC's opener was won on the inside, the pivotal moments of Monday's game will likely come on the perimeter. Georgia Tech boasts an outstanding guard combo in Marcus Georges-Hunt and Adam Smith. The duo combines for almost 32 points a game and control the Yellow Jacket offense.

The key questions: how will Georges-Hunt and Smith perform against freshman P.J. Dozier and juniors Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice, plus, who wins the rebounding battle? Georgia Tech ranks 23rd nationally in rebound margin and we all know how Frank Martin feels about his team rebounding the ball.

Under Brian Gregory, who's in his fifth season in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets had a dominant win as well in their NIT opener, a 19-point victory over fifth seed Houston. Georges-Hunt and Smith combined for 39 points to lead the way.

With a win over Georgia Tech Monday night, South Carolina will set a school record for wins in a season.