Sixty-eight teams made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Five are from North Carolina. None is from South Carolina — though USC was named to the women’s tournament field Monday night.
But while our state is missing in the action of the men’s “Big Dance” for the second straight season, our community has two schools in, well, smaller dances.
Tonight at TD Arena on Meeting Street, the College of Charleston will play host to George Mason in a College Basketball Invitational opener. On Wednesday night, Charleston Southern visits Southern Mississippi in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, which is more prestigious than the CBI.
OK, so the NCAA tournament is obviously more prestigious than the NIT.
However, Charleston Southern and the College of Charleston each came up one frustrating game short of the NCAAs by losing a conference tournament final.
And though the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks combined for a dismal 27-36 men’s basketball record this season, our Buccaneers and Cougars combined for an impressive 43-22.
CSU, at 19-12, even won the Big South regular-season title. The C of C, 24-10, counted among its victories a 72-67 early-season triumph over the Bucs at North Charleston Coliseum,
So root for our home teams still active on the basketball court — tonight, Wednesday night and hopefully beyond.
And if you prefer baseball, head for Riley Park tonight as The Citadel takes on mighty USC.