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  • Writer's pictureHugo Traverso

USC upsets Kansas to make it to Sweet Sixteen

The USC Trojans knocked off the Kansas Jayhawks, 85-51, in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to play Oregon in the Sweet Sixteen. The game was held in Indianapolis at Butler University at the historic and beautiful Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Mobley Brothers dominated the court for USC with Isaiah going for 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Evan Mobley had 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists to help out USC. Their parents watched on with their dad, Eric, being an assistant coach at USC.

The Trojans opened up thhe game strong, but Kansas seemed to be coming back. The game was 18-12, USC, with 7:15 left in the 1st half, but the Trojans went on a 22-9 run to close the half out. The Trojans had changed a lot of things since their first round win against Drake. They shot better and played better defense. They still need work on their free throws though. The Trojans started the 2nd half slow, but finally got back to normal, and starting hitting tons of threes. The Trojans slowed any advance from Kansas, and put their third stringers in to do some damage. The Trojans closed it out with a win, 85-51. The Trojans were lead by the Mobley Brothers and the group of three point shooting Trojans that led to USC being 11-18 from three (61%) and 32-56 from the field (57.1 %). This was a huge step up from last game where USC was 50% from the field and 33.3 % from three. Kansas was lead by Marcus Garrett who had 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The now and the future look bright for USC, but Kansas is seeming to fade. Kansas had an off year this year, and should be back better than ever next year because of Bill Self. He is doing great, but he made a comment after the game that showed he was not happy with the Jayhawks' performance this evening. He said Kansas deserves better. This shows that he was unhappy with the year, and the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks were only 18-62 from the field (29%) and 6-25 from three (24%). This is a very disappointing number for Kansas and their fanbase. The Trojans dominated the boards with 43 total rebounds which stomped Kansas' 27. The Trojans need to keep the turnovers under control though if they want to play well as they had 14 which was double Kansas' 7. Kansas never led the game though with the Trojans highest lead being 35 points. Kansas suffered its biggest tournament loss in history. Their past big one was losing by 18 points to Indiana in the 1940 Championship Game. USC ironically lost to Kansas, 43-42, in Kansas City in the semifinals in that tournament.

The Trojans dominated through the whole game, showing the depth of the Pac 12. 4 of the 5 Pac 12 teams have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with the only team not advancing being Colorado who lost to 4 seed Florida State, 71-53. The 4 teans that advanced were USC, UCLA, Pac 12 Regular Season Champs Oregon, and Pac 12 Tournament Champions Oregon State. 11 seed UCLA knocked off 14 seed Abilene Christian by 20, 67-47. 12 seed Oregon State defeated 4 seed Oklahoma State, 80-70. 7 seed Oregon upset 2 seed Iowa by double digits, 95-80. All Pac 12 teams had a win by double digits in this tournament, and the runs not over. The Pac 12 makes up 25% of the Sweet Sixteen, and after this, there could be 3 Pac 12 teams in the Elite Eight. This shows that the Pac 12 is the Conference of Champions in every sport, but football as they have been the worst of the Power 5 in that sport for a long time. This also opens a new chapter for the Pac 12 known as the "Post Larry Scott Era" which should be a time of growth for the conference.

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