Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The University of South Carolina has decided it will not bid for the men's NCAA basketball tournament games scheduled for next March.
The school said late Wednesday the lack of available full service hotel properties for the dates of the tournament (March 17-19) won't allow the school to host the event.
“Colonial Life Arena, the University of South Carolina and Columbia would be a tremendous host for the NCAA First and Second Rounds,” said USC Director of Athletics Ray Tanner. “However, the short turnaround time of hosting the event in 2017 made it difficult to secure available full service hotel properties to have the NCAA Tournament here. We look forward to hosting the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in the future.”
A day earlier, it seemed as if USC would try to get those games. Tanner had said the school was considering the move, and if they did, they hoped to hear a response by next month.
USC said it has already put in a bid to host the tournament from 2019 to 2022.
The contests were originally scheduled to take place in Greensboro, North Carolina, However, earlier this month, the NCAA announced North Carolina would lose the right to host postseason tournaments, including March Madness, because of the state's decision to pass what's commonly referred to as HB 2.
That measure restricts a transgender person's ability to use the bathroom of their chose statewide. Other organizations have announced similar sanctions, including the NBA's decision to take the All-Star Game away from Charlotte.
South Carolina could not host NCAA tournaments themselves as part of an NCAA sanction for putting the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House. That was rescinded, however, in the weeks after lawmakers removed the flag in July of 2015.