SPORTS LIBRARY, South Carolina, USC, basketball

COLUMBIA -- Entering the SEC Tournament this week, the Gamecocks' resume can only be described as unique.

After struggling in the non-conference, they've surged in SEC play, finishing fourth in the conference but are on the outside looking in if the NCAA Tournament started today.

Their tournament chances could get a big boost this week in the conference tournament, but before that, here's a look at the Gamecocks' resume and how it stacks up against a few other bubble teams.

The NET ranking: No. 78

South Carolina's seen itself skyrocket up the NET rankings, the new metric used to replace the RPI. They're currently No. 78 and have moved up 33 spots since Feb. 9.

They're 7-12 against either Quad I or Quad II teams with the big success coming against Quad II teams. They're 4-5 against that section of the NET rankings, outscoring opponents by an average of 71.4-70.8 with an offensive efficiency of 102.8 and a defensive mark of 101.4.

  • vs. Quad I teams: 3-8
  • vs. Quad II teams: 4-5
  • vs. Quad III teams: 5-1
  • vs. Quad IV teams: 3-1

Good wins: at Florida (No. 33 NET), vs. Mississippi State (No. 21), vs. Auburn (17), vs. Ole Miss (34)

Bad losses: vs. Stony Brook (No. 160 NET), at Wyoming (320)

Examining the schedule

The Gamecocks are currently 16-15 and 11-7 in the SEC. They're tied with Auburn for fourth in the SEC. Currently, they've played 13 games against teams currently predicted by Joe Lundardi in the NCAA Tournament and are 4-9 with wins over Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Florida.

In looking at teams that are on the bubble right now, it's hard to draw an argument that South Carolina shouldn't be in that conversation.

With the eight teams Lundari lists as either the last four teams with a bye or the last four in, the average number of Quad I wins is 3.3 and the average number of combined wins against either Quad I or II wins is eight wins. South Carolina has three Quad I wins and seven wins over Quad I or II wins.

Florida, which South Carolina beat earlier this year, is listed as one of the last four teams with a bye in the NCAA Tournament and is 6-12 against Quad I or II wins and has three Quad I wins.

Clemson, which is a last-four-in team according to Lundari, is 7-12 with just one Quad I win.

Fourth-best team argument

Right now, South Carolina is the fourth-best team in a conference KenPom lists as the fourth-best conference in the country. In Lundari's bracket, seven SEC teams are listed in the tournament: Tennessee, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Florida.

The Gamecocks went 4-5 against those teams with three of those — Ole Miss (10-8), Mississippi State (10-8) and Florida (9-9) — finishing with worse records.

Of the top eight conferences as determined by KenPom — Big 10, Big 12, ACC, SEC, Big East, American Athletic and Pac 12 — six of those conferences' fourth place teams are projected to make the tournament.

The only ones that don't have their fourth-place team projected in are the Pac 12 in Oregon and South Carolina in the SEC.

How the Gamecocks get in

With the struggles in the non-conference, South Carolina's record and NET ranking have taken some hits they might not be able to rebound from come tournament time.

TeamRankings gives South Carolina currently an 8.3 percent chance to make the tournament, up from 2.2 percent last week. A win in the SEC Tournament, which would bring them to 12-8 in conference, boosts that percentage to 11.3 but getting all the way to the SEC championship game gives them an almost 50 percent chance to make the dance (49.1).

If they do that, it could come down to what the committee values most: success in November or December or wins in January or February.

Silva honored

South Carolina senior forward Chris Silva has been named the SEC Co-Player of the Week after averaging 23 points and 13.5 rebounds in two Gamecock wins last week.

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