COLUMBIA, SC – JANUARY 09: Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks drives to the basket during their game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Colonial Life Arena on January 9, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina won 69-65 to remain undefeated on the season. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Ron Higgins of is reporting the South Carolina Gamecocks men’s basketball team was initially invited to the NCAA tournament, but the offer was later rescinded.

According to the report, the NCAA called South Carolina and said the team had been invited to the tourney and told them to make travel arrangments, and put them on hold, telling the Gamecocks they’d call back ten minutes later. That call never came, and Vanderbilt subsequently received the spot.

It’s a pretty brutal way to go out, as the Gamecocks had a good season finishing third in the SEC with a 24-8 record. Vanderbilt meanwhile finished tied for fourth in the conference with a 19-14 record. There’s definitely an argument to be made that South Carolina was the better team and deserved Vanderbilt’s spot in the tourney.

Vanderbilt ended up getting blown up by 20 points in its First Four matchup against Witchita State while South Carolina lost in the second round of the NIT tournament to Georgia Tech.

The decision by the NCAA to tell a team to make travel arragements only to ignore future calls about the issue is at best a terrible oversight and at worst reeks of incompetence. It’s perfectly fine if they believed Vanderbilt deserved the spot instead, but to build South Carolina’s hopes up of playing during March Madness, only to dash them immediately, is a bad look, should the reports be accurate.

[247 Sports]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.

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