In case you missed it, South Carolina basketball is ranked for the first time since the 2016-2017 Final Four season. The Gamecocks slotted in at 15th in Monday's AP poll, the highest the team has been ranked since BJ McKie and USC were a top-3 seed in the NCAA Tournament two years in a row.
However, a few hours before the poll was released, one of the AP voters stirred up quite the firestorm (Sandstorm?) among South Carolina basketball fans.
Seth Davis, who works for CBS Sports and The Messenger, revealed his personal top-25 that he submitted to the AP as his official vote. Conspicuously, the Gamecocks were nowhere to be found. As it turned out, Davis was one of four voters to snub Carolina as he was joined by Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star, Brice Cherry of the Waco Tribune-Herald, and Brian Holland of WVLA-TV/WGMB-TV).
Davis, though, faced the most backlash from the South Carolina basketball faithful as he had previously said the Gamecocks deserved to be ranked but then failed to follow up on his word with his own vote.
After taking the online beating, Davis tried to explain the omission.
First, Davis suggested that his 3 AM poll submission saw him just forget about the Gamecocks.
Then, when challenged on his excuse, Davis tried to play the victim card, arguing that because his business failed recently he was distracted, leading to his forgetful exclusion of Lamont Paris' team.
Frankly, fans get too worked up over the top-25. However, the Gamecocks' first ranking in about 7 years was a big deal to a hungry fanbase that deserves to see some success. People whose job it is to cover basketball should not forget about the hottest team in a top-2 conference in the country before submitting an official ballot.
Davis earned the criticism he got, earned a little respect for owning that he made a mistake, and then lost a little for making excuses while claiming "no excuses." However, at least he has addressed the criticism, something that the other three non-Gamecock voters have not.