COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 17 South Carolina earned its second-straight at-large bid into the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament, which begins May 10, marking the 21st time the Gamecock will play in the event in school history. The Gamecocks (18-10) will face No. 53 UNC Wilmington in the first round to be played in Durham, N.C. The winner will advance to play the winner of the match between host Duke, the national No. 9 seed, and Coastal Carolina. Dates and times for the Gamecocks' matches will be announced by Duke this week.
In just their third season under head coach Josh Goffi, the Gamecocks are enjoying their most productive season since 2005 with the team's 18 wins the most since that 2005 group finished in the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 20-10 overall mark. This season, South Carolina turned in its best ever finish in the SEC, tying for third with a school-record tying seven victories. The Gamecocks closed the regular season with their first win over a top-10 opponent since 2005 and have their highest ranking since March 31, 2009.
Individually, Andrew Adams, Tsvetan Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro brought in All-SEC Second-Team honors, the first time since 1999 that three Gamecocks have been recognized by the league's coaches. The group also selected Goffi as the SEC Coach of the Year after he led his youthful team to its best SEC finish in school history. Mihov is nationally ranked in both singles and doubles this week, coming in at No. 35 in singles and No. 18 with Chip Cox in doubles. Adams is ranked No. 86 in singles behind his 13-10 overall record.
South Carolina is 13-19 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches. The team has played in the Round of 16 six times, most recently in 2005, and the program's best showing was a spot in the semifinals of the 1989 NCAA Tournament. South Carolina has participated in the event 20 times prior to tonight's selection in the 2013 event, including a stretch of 13 straight from 1994 through 2006.
The Gamecocks edged out UNC Wilmington 4-3 earlier this season with senior Harry Menzies clinching the win with a three-set victory. The Seahawks won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the third time in five seasons to earn their spot in the NCAA Tournament.