South Carolina granted waiver to host NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament

Ray Tanner reacts after NCAA waiver granted to USC to host NCAA tourney

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The University of South Carolina has been granted a waiver to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, according to athletics director Ray Tanner.

The Gamecocks would host games in Charlotte at Halton Arena (UNC Charlotte) if they receive a top-16 seed in the tournament.

"I am appreciative to the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee for granting this waiver request and for Charlotte Athletics Director Mike Hill and his staff for opening up Halton Arena for our women's basketball program for the opportunity to host NCAA Tournament first and second round games if designated," Tanner said in a statement.

Under normal circumstances, South Carolina would hold games at Colonial Life Arena if they were a top-16 seed in the tournament. However, because the NCAA Men’s Tournament will be hosting the first and second rounds in Columbia in March.

According to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee policy, teams who are top 16 seeds are afforded the chance to host first and second round games at their home venue. If that venue isn’t available, the policy allows for games to be played in a venue within 30 miles from the participating school’s campus. If there is no facility available within 30 miles, the committee “retains the flexibility to make an exception to this policy when necessary.”

"We're excited about the possibility of hosting the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and assisting our good friends at the University of South Carolina," said Charlotte athletics director Mike Hill. "When Ray Tanner approached us about this, we didn't hesitate. We believe in the power of the sport, and the positive impact it has on our university and city."

South Carolina was listed as 13th in the first seedings of the season.

The 64-team field will be announced on March 18.

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