South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris has done the unthinkable. His Gamecocks were awful last season, tying a program record for losses with 21. They also lost their most talented player in 5-star GG Jackson who is making an impact in the NBA right now. However, the 2023-2024 version of the Gamecocks is 17-3 (5-2 in SEC play) and blew out top-10 Kentucky last week.
Somehow, that isn't enough to be ranked.
The Associated Press put out its weekly top-25 rankings, and the South Carolina basketball resume didn't impress the voters enough to crack the poll.
The Gamecocks made their way to the 26th spot, but they weren't all that close to being #25. Carolina earned 108 voting points, while the TCU Horned Frogs (the 25th-ranked team) received 215. 26th is a popular landing spot for the Gamecocks as CBS Sports and Andy Katz slid South Carolina into that slot in their rankings.
39 of the 63 AP voters left Carolina off of their top-25 ballots, but six different voters included USC inside their top-20, including a 9th-place vote from Dylan Sinn from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Big names like Dick Vitale and Jeff Borzello ranked the Gamecocks' with their AP vote.
"Disrespectful" is not a strong enough discriptor for this egregious snub. Only four teams in the poll have fewer losses than South Carolina basketball, and the Gamecocks play a tougher strength of schedule than several of the teams that were included in the top-25.
With three tough games up next on the schedule (@ Tennessee, @ Georgia, Ole Miss), picking up a ranking over the next couple of weeks will be tough. Thankfully, though, the AP's top-25 doesn't matter at all in terms of a team's chances to make the NCAA Tournament. If the Gamecocks continue to win, they will be off to the Big Dance in March, no matter how many times they were snubbed by the AP.