South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks' NCAA Tournament game called "top matchup" in 1st round

South Carolina basketball will face the Oregon Ducks on Thursday in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament, and college basketball Andy Katz says its one of the best matchups of the 1st round.

South Carolina basketball center Josh Gray
South Carolina basketball center Josh Gray / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball fans have just two days to wait until their NCAA Tournament 1st round matchup against the Oregon Ducks. It is the Gamecocks' first trip to the Big Dance since the 2016-2017 Final Four run, and Carolina fans simply can't wait.

As it turns out, they aren't the only ones.

National college basketball analyst Andy Katz included South Carolina-Oregon on his list of the top matchups in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament, slotting the game in as his #2 matchup of the opening round.

USC-UO making the list is not surprising as the Ducks are a hot team (won the final Pac-12 Tournament) entering the upset-heavy 6-11 matchup. Historically, 58 11-seeds have beaten 6-seeds since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. On average, that's more than one 11-6 upset per season.

There is some added intrigue in this one as former South Carolina basketball starter Jermaine Couisnard is now a starter for Oregon. The 6th-year senior was in Columbia for four years (playing for three of them) but left after Frank Martin was fired. He utilized his "Covid redshirt" to return for the 2023-2024 season. The combo guard is very inefficient from the field (38% shooting) but averaged 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game this season.

As Lamont Paris drives the Gamecocks into March Madness for the first time in far too long, it makes sense why Katz and many others are intrigued by the game.

Katz's entire top-10 is listed below:

  1. Clemson Tigers vs. New Mexico Lobos
  2. South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Oregon Ducks
  3. Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. McNeese State Cowboys
  4. Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Texas A&M Aggies
  5. Kansas Jayhawks vs. Samford Bulldogs
  6. San Diego State Aztecs vs. UAB Blazers
  7. Dayton Flyers vs. Nevada Wolfpack
  8. Wisconsin Badgers vs. James Madison Dukes
  9. Washington State Cougars vs. Drake Bulldogs
  10. Saint Mary's Gaels vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Before NCAA Tournament begins, let's put 2023-2024 season in historical perspective. South Carolina Basketball: Before NCAA Tournament begins, let's put 2023-2024 season in historical perspective. dark