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May 05, 2004

South Carolina men’s tennis is heading to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th consecutive year and will face the 17th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round on May 15 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Gamecocks are 3-0 against the Buckeyes all-time but haven’t faced Ohio State since 1981.

“We’re extremely happy to be participating in the NCAA Tournament again,” said Carolina Head Coach Kent DeMars. “We’re happy to go to Chapel Hill – it is a familiar place for us and they have a great facility. We’re looking forward to taking on Ohio State.”

Carolina and Ohio State will square off on Saturday, May 15 in Chapel Hill with North Carolina and South Carolina State also playing. Sunday, May 16 the winners of those two matches will face off to determine the regional advancer to the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Ok.

The Gamecocks and Buckeyes have met three times throughout history, with the first match occurring in 1975, an 8-1 win for USC. They met again in 1977 with South Carolina notching the 5-3 victory. The third meeting took pace in 1981 as USC took a 9-0 victory. Only the third match was played outside Columbia, as the two teams took each other on in Columbus, Ohio. This will be the first match between the two teams at a neutral site.

For the third consecutive year, all 12 Southeastern Conference teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament with six of the 12 teams (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss) hosting regional bracket play.