Will Clemson and South Carolina reach the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament?

Joseph Bender, Sports Editor

After starting out slow earlier in the season, the Clemson and South Carolina men’s basketball teams have been on fire lately. The Clemson Tigers are currently 12-12, with 2 top 5 wins against Duke in January, a huge, dominating win against #5 Louisville at home on Saturday, and a win in Chapel Hill vs North Carolina for the first time ever.

South Carolina started off rough in non-conference play, with embarrassing losses to Boston University, Stetson, and Northern Iowa in the Cancun Challenge. Now, the Gamecocks have two top 10 wins vs #9 Virginia in Charlottesville, and #10 Kentucky at home. South Carolina has currently won 8 of their last 10 games, all in SEC play, with the two losses coming to #16 Auburn at Auburn, a loss at Ole Miss two weeks ago, and is currently 16-9.

What’s next for the two programs?

Both Clemson and South Carolina will look to reach the NCAA tournament. The Gamecocks have a much easier path to get there, but Clemson still has a chance if they can win out. South Carolina is currently “on the bubble”, which means they don’t have a sealed spot yet but there is a strong possibility by Selection Sunday next month the Gamecocks could be in it with a few more wins in the regular season, and a win or two in the SEC Tournament in Nashville at the conclusion of the regular season.

What does the rest of the season look like for the two teams?
Both Clemson and South Carolina have favorable schedules and there is a possibility to win out for both teams.

Clemson’s Remaining Schedule:

@ 13-13 Boston College – Saturday
@ 12-13 Georgia Tech – 2/25
Vs #8 21-4 Florida State – 2/29
@ 15-10 Virginia Tech – 3/4
Vs 12-13 Georgia Tech – 3/6 (Final Game)
ACC Tournament

South Carolina’s Remaining Schedule:

@ 16-9 Mississippi State – Wednesday
Vs 18-7 #25 LSU – 2/22
Vs 12-13 Georgia – 2/26
@ 14-11 Alabama – 2/29
Vs 16-9 Mississippi State – 3/3
@ 9-16 Vanderbilt – 3/7
SEC Tournament

In this week’s NET Rankings, South Carolina comes in at 64, right at the last spot for the tournament, with Clemson at 79, still in reach if they can win out, including a win over #8 Florida State.

Will the Gamecocks and Tigers make the NCAA tournament? We will find out in 28 days on Selection Sunday.