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Aug. 15, 2006

Welcoming the Kansas Jayhawks to Columbia for the first time, the University of South Carolina basketball team, the two-time NIT defending champions, released its schedule today. Besides the 16-game schedule in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference which features the defending NCAA and NIT champions, the Gamecocks will play teams from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-10, Ivy League, Big West, Big South, Southern, Atlantic Sun and MEAC.

USC will welcome ESPN (Kentucky, Jan. 16), ABC (Tennessee, Feb. 17) and CBS (Kansas, Jan. 7) to the Colonial Center this season in addition to Lincoln Financial Services and Fox SportsSouth (to be added at a later date). While USC has seven televised games on its 29-game schedule, a number of games are expected to be added for television in the next month.

“This is by far the most difficult and challenging schedule we have taken on in recent memory. It cuts across 10 leagues, including four BCS conferences,” said USC Head Coach Dave Odom. “No other team in the country will play a more difficult four or five game stretch than we do when we play Kansas on Jan. 7, then play at Georgia, host Florida and Kentucky in a four day span and travel to Tennessee that weekend. We have always made an effort to bring different teams to Columbia and this year is no exception with Kansas and Princeton playing in the Colonial Center. We will make a West coast trip that includes games at UC-Irvine and at Southern California for the grand opening of USC’s Galen Center. Those two and Baylor will travel here next season in return. We also play host to in-state rivals Clemson, College of Charleston and South Carolina State as well as traveling to The Citadel.”

On the SEC home slate, USC will host defending NCAA champion Florida on Jan. 13. In addition, USC will host Kentucky (Jan. 16), Arkansas (Jan. 24), Auburn (Jan. 31), Georgia (Feb. 20), Tennessee (Feb. 17), Ole Miss (Feb. 24) and Vanderbilt (Feb. 28). The Tennessee game has been tabbed as Gamecock Club Appreciation Day and the Ole Miss game is Senior Day.

Highlights on the non-conference schedule include welcoming Kansas, expected to be a pre-season top five team, on Jan. 7, in-state rival Clemson on Dec. 2, Princeton for the first time in 34 years on Dec. 20 and the return of former Gamecock great Bobby Cremins with the College of Charleston on Dec. 5.