Man, that was tough.
So it looks like the Gamecocks will have to sweat out their NCAA tournament fate after all. A 65-64 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs dropped Carolina out of the SEC Tournament and put their fate in the hands of the selection committee. Three quick thoughts:
--Granted, the Gamecocks couldn't close out what was at one point an 11-point lead, but the Dawgs did benefit from a big discrepancy in free throw attempts, making more than SC attempted all game (20-27 to Carolina's 10-15). Overall, though, it was another game to add to the list of ones this team should have won but didn't. (By the way, Frank Martin wasn't too thrilled about that last first half possession, as you might expect.)
Frank Martin! I'm a fan pic.twitter.com/M19HdX7OIO— Dan Kuester (@ddkuester) March 12, 2016
And now, the question comes up as to whether or not this team will be in the field of 68 come Sunday. SBN's resident bracketologist is leaning toward the latter.
South Carolina loses to Georgia for a third time. That’s bad news for the Gamecocks.— Chris Dobbertean (@ChrisDobbertean) March 12, 2016
--There will be the inevitable discussion of whether or not having Michael Carrera in the lineup would have made a difference. On one hand, having him on the bench prevented him from risking further injury and ensured that he would have been fresh for the postseason. On the other hand, it certainly wouldn't have hurt to have him out there, either.
--Sindarius Thornwell had a big game (27 points, 9-17 from the floor) but won't be remembered for that performance as much as he will for his late turnover that allowed Georgia's J.J. Frazier to head to the line and sink the eventual winning free throw. Even more so if the Gamecocks end up missing the tournament because of it.
We'll see what the committee says on Sunday. Either way, this one hurts, and will hurt even more if it costs the Gamecocks a spot in the Big Dance.
Full recap and further discussion later on. Have a good weekend, everyone.