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March 30, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. – USC won its second straight NIT championship, matching a feat only accomplished by St. John’s University (1943-44) in the NIT’s 69-year history.

Fans are invited to greet the 2006 NIT Champion South Carolina basketball team as it comes home to Columbia Friday, March 31. The Gamecocks are set to arrive at the Colonial Center at approximately 2 p.m. after flying into Charlotte Friday morning commercially.

A few brag facts on the Gamecocks:

  • The win was Coach Odom’s 100th career win at South Carolina. It also matched his 23-win season in 2004. Odom has recorded three straight 20-win seasons and four in the last five years.
  • Oddly enough Odom clinched another career milestone at the NIT in 2002 when he won his 300th career game in a semi-final win over Syracuse.
  • USC set an NIT record by winning 10 straight games in the NIT in winning back-to-back titles
  • Renaldo Balkman was named the MVP of the 2006 NIT. Tre’ Kelley and Tarence Kinsey were both named to the NIT All-Tournament team. Carlos Powell was named last year’s NIT MVP and Brandon Wallace was named to the NIT All-Tournament
  • USC set the following school records for a single season this year:
  • Most Games Started: Tre’ Kelley 38 games
  • Most Games Played: 38 games (Tre’ Kelley, Brandon Wallace, Tarence Kinsey, Renaldo Balkman)
  • Most Minutes Played: Tre’ Kelley (1328). No. 2 in school history is Kinsey (1328)
  • Most Games Played: USC team (38)
  • Most 3 Pointers Made: USC team (made 264 this year)

USC players also jumped into a number of top 10 lists for the season and in the players careers.