Last year, the South Carolina basketball’s team failure to make the NCAA tournament was blamed, in part, on its out-of-conference strength of schedule. While it’s not the only reason (see: losing to Mississippi State, etc.), Frank Martin has made a concerted effort to boost the team’s non-league schedule.
That schedule received a huge boost today as the team announced that they have entered into a home-and-home agreement with the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan and South Carolina will square off on November 23 at the CLA before the two teams play at the Crisler Center next year.
Despite a disappointing 10-8 Big Ten mark in 2015-16, John Beilein’s squad still earned an at-large NCAA bid as they went from a 16-16 overall mark to a 23-13 record. The program, a couple of years removed from a national championship appearance in 2013 and a Elite Eight bid in 2014, is facing the Gamecocks on the hardwood for the first time since Carolina dropped them in the 2006 NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden.
South Carolina now has eight confirmed dates on its non-league slate for 2016-17. Along with the annual game against Clemson (December 21 at the CLA), the Gamecocks are set to host Holy Cross (November 13), Monmouth (November 15) and visit USF (December 17) and Memphis (date TBA). Two more games against Syracuse (November 26 at Barclays Center) and Seton Hall (December 12 at the Garden) round out the slate for now.