Another day, another analyst leaving South Carolina basketball out of mock postseason

South Carolina basketball was left off of an NCAA Tournament projection by college basketball analyst Joe Lunardi.
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Despite South Carolina basketball having a great year during the 2023-2024 season, the Gamecocks have been doubted heading into the 2024-2025 campaign. When NCAA Tournament projections and hypotheticals have come up this offseason, Carolina routinely gets left out of the conversations.

It happened again on Tuesday as ESPN's Joe Lunardi released the June version of his NCAA Tournament bracketology. In his mock tourney, Lunardi included ten SEC teams in his field of 68 and mentioned both the Missouri Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores as teams just outside of the field.

Lunardi placed the Alabama Crimson Tide (1 seed), Auburn Tigers (2 seed), Tennessee Volunteers (4 seed), Texas Longhorns (4 seed), Arkansas Razorbacks (5 seed), Texas A&M Aggies (6 seed), Kentucky Wildcats (6 seed), Mississippi State Bulldogs (7 seed), Ole Miss Rebels (7 seed), and Florida Gators (8 seed) in his projection.

The Gamecocks were a complete snub in Lunardi's bracketology, despite there being a very real chance that USC is even better this year than they were last year.

The offseason additions of transfer portal players Nick Pringle (center, Alabama Crimson Tide), Jordan Butler (power forward/center, Missouri Tigers), and Jamarii Thomas (guard, Norfolk State Spartans) and freshmen 4-star wing Cam Scott and 4-star forward Okku Federiko should go a long way in replacing the talent lost from last season's team.

Gamecock coach Lamont Paris has been disregarded, and at times, disrespected, by the national media. The projections from this offseason indicate that the majority of the talking heads and college basketball analysts believe the record-tying 26 wins from last season was a fluke rather than Carolina's actual ascension to contention.

South Carolina basketball will have the chance to prove the doubters wrong, starting this November when they open the 2024-2025 season with a home contest against the North Florida Ospreys.

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