A Sad Ending to USC's Pac 12 Hoops Hopes
The USC Trojans have just lost to the Colorado Buffaloes in the Pac 12 Tournament Semifinal, officially ending their Pac 12 hopes. The Trojans, who started the season looking like they were heading to a regular season Pac 12 Championship and a #1 seed in the Pac 12 Tournament. The Trojans got their first loss 4 games in against UConn by a score of 61-56 and their first conference loss came 6 games in against Colorado by a score of 72-62. The Trojans went on a run and turned their season from 5-2 to 11-2 before they lost to Oregon State in a thriller, 58-56. They countinued their run with their record going up to 18-3 before they lost to Arizona, 81-72. The season turned down from there. They beat Oregon, but started to crumble by losing to Colorado and Utah. They beat Stanford and UCLA to close out the season. They technically finished in first, but Oregon had a lower loss number in conference play. This made them a 2 seed in the tourney.
The Trojans opened the tournament up with a bye and faced Utah in the quarterfinal. In a thriller, USC beat Utah, 91-85 in double overtime. The Trojans relied on a Colorado loss as Colorado had seemed to be the only team that broke the Trojans' codes. Colorado beat Cal though and faced the Trojans on Friday night. USC came in slightly favored, but something was in the air. The Trojans were outplayed in the 1st half and were losing at the half, 39-30. The Trojans had a second win though in the 2nd half and closed in. It came down to the last second though, and Colorado's defense hung on. The Buffaloes beat the Trojans 72-70 and advanced to play Oregon State in the final on Saturday.
The Trojan's loss made them finish in a choking manner at 22-7. The Trojans finished in a similar way last year at 22-9 as COVID hit right before their game with Arizona. USC was tournament bound last year and are this year, but with what ranking? ESPN's Bracketology has USC at a lock at 6 in Region 4. If Bracketology is right, USC will face a tough play-in team. If Bracketology is totally right, if USC moves on, they will most likely face Kansas and if they win, most likely Alabama. Colorado would be tapping in at a 5 (Region 4), UCLA at an 11 (Region 3), and Oregon at a 6 (Region 2). Bracketology hasn't been updated fully yet, so I will provide info if it has.
UPDATE: USC is still at 6, but in Region 1, and Colorado and UCLA are in the same place. Oregon got knocked to 7 in Region 2.
IF BRACKETOLOGY IS RIGHT...
USC: If USC does end up where they are, they will play Syracuse or Drake who are hard teams to play. If they win, they will most likely play Texas, and if they win that, they will most likely face Ohio State. If they do make it past the Buckeyes, they will most likely face the best team in the country, Gonzaga. If they some how beat them, they're in the Final Four.
Colorado: If Colorado does end up where they are, they will face Utah State or Saint Louis which should be an easy win for the Buffaloes. If they win, they will most likely face West Virginia who are extremely hard to play, but if Colorado wins, they will most likely face Illinois. If they get past the Illini, they will most likely come to hard opponent in Bama. If they win that, they're in the Final Four.
Oregon: If Oregon does end up where they are, they will face Georgia Tech which should be a hard game for the Ducks. If they win, they will most likely face Iowa who are extremely hard to play, but if Oregon wins, they will most likely face Villanova or Arkansas. If they get past one of these teams, they will most likely come to hard opponent in teh Baylor Bears. If they win that, they're in the Final Four.
UCLA: If UCLA does end up where they are, they will face Wisconsin which will be a hard match for the Bruins. If they win, they will most likely face the Houston Cougars who are also extremely hard to play, but if UCLA wins, they will most likely face Oklahoma State. If they get past the Cowboys, they will most likely come to hard opponent in Michigan. If they win that, they're in the Final Four.
I don't think a Pac 12 team will make it past the Sweet 16. It is sad to think, but the Pac 12 has been dissapointing. No team in the Pac 12 has 5 or less losses. The Pac 12 has only 1 or 2 ranked teams, too. A 15 seed could beat a top Pac 12 team. Good luck fans! Go Trojans!