The NCAA basketball tournaments are underway and the USC Women will play their first round game in San Antonio Sunday night against Mercer. The Gamecocks are the No. 1 seed in their region. If they avoid the stunning upset by the Bears, they will play either Oregon State Tuesday. The Gamecocks will play the tournament without veteran reserve guard LeLe Grissett. Coach Dawn Stanley announced the senior will miss the tournament while recovering from a lower leg injury suffered in the SEC Tournament earlier this month. Grissett averaged seven points and four rebounds off the bench this season. Also this week, Gamecock forward Aliyah Boston was named to the first team of the AP All-American team, and she was named one of the four finalists for the Naismith Trophy.
There is no NCAA Tournament again this year for the USC men’s team. Their season ended last week with a loss to Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks finished with a 6-15 record, their worst ever in the nine years of Frank Martin. USC athletics director Ray Tanner met with Martin Monday, and sources have told SportsTalkSC Tanner intends to make a change. There has been no announcement to this point of the week. It is believed Tanner is giving Martin a chance to land another job if he can. Martin has two years left on his contract and the Gamecocks would owe him over six million dollars if he is fired. Martin is 153-134 overall at USC (53%) and 74-91 (45%) in conference games. He led the Gamecocks to a school record 26 wins and to the Final Four in 2016-17 in his one NCAA Tournament appearance with the program. The Gamecocks made the NIT the previous season. The Gamecocks had a streak of six consecutive non-losing seasons end this year, one of the most successful runs in the program’s history.
SEC play for the baseball team commences this weekend, and the Gamecocks all of a sudden find themselves in a funk. After opening the season with 11 straight wins and climbing to as high as #5 in the polls, the Gamecocks have lost four straight. They were swept last weekend at Texas, then lost to Davidson Wednesday night, their first loss to the Wildcats in 25 games. This weekend the Gamecocks play at second-ranked Vanderbilt.
The Gamecock softball team will host Central Florida this weekend. After being swept by Arkansas last weekend, the Gamecocks took a doubleheader from Gardner-Webb during the week. They are 15-6.
The football team opens spring practice Saturday morning, the first under new head coach Shane Beamer. The Gamecocks will have 15 practices, including the spring game on April 24 at 2 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
The women’s golf team moved to No. 1 in the country this week after a win last weekend in the Augusta Invitational. They set a program record for a 54-hole event with a 30 under par score and won their third tournament of the season. Pauline Rousing-Bouchard was the medalist at -15, also a program record for a 54-hole event. They will play this weekend in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, GA.
The men recorded a fifth place finish earlier this week in the Tiger Invitational at Auburn. The Gamecocks finished 15 shots back of the winner, Auburn. Jamie Wilson led the Gamecocks with a T5 at -5. The Gamecocks are off this weekend and will play next weekend in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate.
The men’s soccer team played a 1-1 tie at Old Dominion last Sunday. The Gamecocks are 6-4-1 and will host Charlotte Saturday.
The men’s tennis team will host NC State and top-ranked North Carolina this weekend. The Gamecocks are 9-5 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. Last week they lost at Mississippi State and then defeated Ole Miss.
The women’s team is off this weekend. They are 6-9 overall and 3-5 in the SEC after wins last week over Arkansas and Missouri.