Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The NCAA is apologizing to South Carolina men's basketball team after a mistaken text went to school staff telling them they'd made the NCAA Tournament.
Vice-President of Men's Basketball Championships Dan Gavitt issued the statement Thursday afternoon.
"Unfortunately, during the selection show a junior men's basketball staff member mistakenly sent a text to a member of the University of South Carolina athletics department staff via an app we used for the first time during the 2016 tournament. The text was supposed to go to all teams, congratulating them for making the tournament. Regrettably, a text meant for another institution went to South Carolina instead."
USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner told News19 that "mistakes happen" and the USC was told of the problem within 10 minutes.
USC was 24-8 at the time of the selection, and were hoping to make the tournament for the first time since 2004. After not being picked, USC Head Coach Frank Martin said he and the players were disappointed.
It appears Vanderbilt got the selection ahead of them. USC then went on to play in the NIT Tournament, where they won one game and lost another.
"While the Gamecocks were given serious consideration, at no time during the selection process was South Carolina voted in to the field," Gavitt said. "Ultimately, they were one of the last four teams left out of the tournament. I take full responsibility for this clerical error and apologize to Coach Martin, his staff and team, and the entire University of South Carolina."