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March 30, 2016

Last year, the Gamecocks upset then-No. 1 Georgia to win the 2015 NCEA National Championship.

Last year, the Gamecocks upset then-No. 1 Georgia to win the 2015 NCEA National Championship.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina equestrian team has earned the No. 7 seed at the 2016 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship, it was announced today. This year’s championship runs April 14-16 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.

The Gamecocks will face No. 10 seed Southern Methodist in the opening round on Thursday, April 14. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to face No. 2 Georgia on Friday, April 15.

“When I look at this year’s bracket, the first round has a lot of exciting pairings,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “All four opening rounds meets are rematches of regular season meets so there’s a lot of familiarity there that I think will make for a very exciting first day. Our end of the bracket is very strong. It features the last two UEC champions in New Mexico State and Fresno State. It features the last two national champions in us and Georgia, and it features last year’s SEC runner-up in Texas A&M. In terms of individual teams, our half of the bracket is stacked with tough teams. SMU is a very good team and we remember that well because they beat us during the fall. Getting to end SECs with a win was big for us in a lot of ways and if we can carry that over and have two great weeks of practice, then we’ll have a chance to go to Waco and do very well.”

This year marks the third year that the NCEA’s national champion will be determined using the dual meet competition format, which teams currently compete under during the regular season. Previously, hunt seat and western teams were split up in to separate brackets, and points were awarded based on where a team finished in each bracket.

South Carolina previously won the NCEA National Championship in 2015, 2007 and 2005. The Gamecocks finished as the national runner-up in 2006 and 2014.

Seeding for 2016 NCEA Championship
1. Auburn
2. Georgia
3. Baylor
4. Oklahoma State
5. Texas A&M
6. TCU
7. South Carolina
8. Kansas State
9. Delaware State
10. SMU
11. New Mexico State
12. Fresno State

Opening Round (Thursday, April 14)
(8) Kansas State vs. (9) Delaware State
(5) Texas A&M vs. (12) Fresno State
(6) Texas Christian vs. (11) New Mexico State
(7) South Carolina vs. (10) Southern Methodist

Quarterfinals (Friday, April 15)
(1) Auburn vs. Kansas State/Delaware State winner
(2) Georgia vs. South Carolina/Southern Methodist winner
(3) Baylor vs. Texas Christian/New Mexico State winner
(4) Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M/Fresno State winner

The two semifinal meets will take place on the morning of Saturday, April 16. The championship meet will place during the afternoon.

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