March Madness: Gamecocks earn ninth trip to Big Dance

Coach Frank Martin reacts to NCAA tourney selection

Whether you believe in second chances or not, the South Carolina Gamecocks are getting one.

After a 64-53 loss to Alabama in the SEC tournament, the postseason future for one of the best performing Gamecocks men's basketball teams in several years was uncertain. Players, coaches and fans were disappointed, because many believed the team would take the SEC trophy and be in the Big Dance.

With six losses in their last nine games and the disappointing performance in the SEC tournament, you don't have to dig far to find analysts, who questioned if the Gamecocks belonged in a March Madness bracket.

Sunday brought the best news possible for the team that hasn't been to the Big Dance since 2004.

Despite the slump at the end of the season, the Gamecocks will make their ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament. With a record of 22-10, the team earned a number 7 seed and will face 10th-seeded Marquette (19-12) on Friday.

The Gamecocks are one of only two teams from South Carolina playing in the Big Dance. Winthrop University will face Butler on Thursday.

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