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March 12, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format

Women’s NIT Bracket in PDF Format

Gamecocks Have First-Round Bye, Face Hartford Or Bucknell In Women’s NIT Second Round
South Carolina (17-14 overall; 6-8 Southeastern Conference) earned its second consecutive bid into the Women’s NIT and will compete in the Women’s NIT for the third time in school history. The Gamecocks have a first-round bye and will face the winner of Thursday’s Bucknell at Hartford game at a date and site to be announced following the first round.

Carolina Has WNIT Championship History
South Carolina’s return to the WNIT is a notable one, as the Gamecocks won the 1979 tournament (then-referred to as the NWIT) by claiming wins over California, Oregon and Drake.

Fourth Post-Season Trip In Last Six Years
With four post-season appearances in the last six years (two NCAA Tournaments, two Women’s NIT appearances), South Carolina is in the midst of one of its best post-season runs since the inception of the NCAA Women’s Championship in 1982 and its best since joining the SEC for the 1991-92 season. The Gamecocks made five NCAA appearances in a six-year span from 1986-91. Carolina was the leading member of the Metro Conference during that period of time.

Carolina’s Bubble Bursts
South Carolina was recognized as a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament by’s Charlie Creme, who listed the Gamecocks as one of the top five teams left out of the Big Dance in his final NCAA Tournament bracket projection. South Carolina was ranked No. 64 in the latest version of the NCAA’s RPI to be made public, which included games through March 5. The Gamecocks faced the nation’s No. 35 schedule, according to the final strength of schedule rankings. Carolina was in the discussion for a spot in the NCAA Tournament field thanks partly to the fact that the Gamecocks were one of only 18 teams in the nation to pick up a pair of wins over top-50 opposition since Feb. 15, as Carolina knocked off Auburn on Feb. 15, then came back to beat the Tigers again in the first round of the SEC Tournament on March 1. Carolina split its last 10 games of the season, but only lost to elite teams down the stretch, as the Gamecocks didn’t lose a game to anyone ranked below No. 12 nationally since January 21. South Carolina looked to become the fifth SEC team admitted into the NCAA Tournament field with a sub-.500 record in conference play, as 2001 Arkansas, 2000 Vanderbilt and 1999 Florida all had 6-8 SEC records and got in and 1997 Auburn compiled a 5-7 SEC mark to earn a spot in the Big Dance. The SEC had the top conference RPI of any league in the nation, but it wasn’t enough to sway the selection committee in Carolina’s favor.

Last Year At The Women’s NIT
South Carolina suffered a 70-65 overtime defeat at the hands of Xaver in first-round action in last year’s Women’s NIT played at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.