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USC Tennis Going Nat'l Title Hunting

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The No. 1 USC men's tennis team captured the university's 100th NCAA Championship on familiar ground, sticking to their guns as the top seed for a 4-2 comeback win over No. 2 seed Oklahoma tonight in Athens, Ga.

The Trojans extended their national record of titles by fighting out of an 0-2 hole and finally capping things off on Max de Vroome's clincher on court four. The sophomore was playing in his first NCAA Championship match, but earned veteran status tonight as he finished off the Sooners, which also were making their first NCAA title match run. In the end, the Trojan experience and comfort under the lights of the Georgia courts was too much to take.

USC Pitching Guru Tom House Featured In Million Dollar Arm

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Long-time USC pitching guru Tom House knows all that and has spent a lifetime coming up with novel ways to improve players, physically and spiritually.

Along the way, he has worked with some of the best guns in the history of American warfare: Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, even a couple of quarterbacks you might've heard of — Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

But his heralded efforts training Rinku and Dinesh into MLB prospects really tested his skills to the highest level, resulting in an emotional journey and a Hollywood movie.

Football Falling Behind In The Classroom

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The University of Southern California continues to boast its outstanding achievements recruiting top-class athletes for the football field, and also the scholars to fill up the fairly-competitive classrooms.

The NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) data submitted by the institution for the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years has just come out, which grades academic progress for athletic programs.

USC showed some positive signs in major programs (baseball, volleyball, women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's soccer, women's tennis) posting perfect 1000 APR scores in the 2012-13 school year. That said, football tied for 10th worst in the Pac-12 sitting 168th overall of the 245 eligible teams.

USC Going Four More: 1973

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Back at Omaha for the fourth straight year, the Trojans continued the onslaught winning the first three games to setup a semifinal match up for the ages against Minnesota in what became one of the best comebacks in Rosenblatt history.

The Golden Gophers had won the national championship in 1960, handing the Trojans their most bitter defeat in a highly controversial game, and USC wanted revenge.

But the Trojans were forced to face Minnesota ace Dave Winfield, yes that MLB Hall of Famer. Along with his 465 career MLB HR's and outstanding arm defensively, Winfield was on his game from the very start on the bump, fanning 15 Trojans heading into the 9th inning leading 7-0.

The rest is history as they say, and USC baseball crafted its own marvelous tale once again under Rod Dedeaux scrapping together 8 runs against Winfield in the last inning, sending the Trojans to the national championship.

Once again facing off rival Arizona State, the Trojans defeated the Sun Devils 4-3 and then said goodbye to the honorable contributors Randy Scarbery (1st Round), Fred Lynn (2nd Round), Edwin Bowman (8th Round) and Cliff Holland (June secondary draft, 1st Round) shortly after winning the College World Series for the fourth-consecutive year.

The Trojans Upset-Minded Three Peat: 1972

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After winning back-to-back National Championships, Rod Dedeaux's USC Baseball program had its backs against the wall against the Arizona State Sun Devils, who won a program-record 60 games that season.

Many considered the Sun Devils one of the best teams of all-time, but that did not stop our young Trojans who featured four prominent sophomore contributors from nabbing the 1972 World Series crown 1-0 behind the dazzling efforts of pitching wonder Russ McQueen.

McQueen, who was honored earlier this season during USC's 40th Anniversary Celebration of Dedeaux Field, took center stage out of the bullpen earning Most Outstanding Player Honors in the 1972 College World Series by notching an incredible 14 consecutive scoreless innings.

Following his collegiate career, he was drafted by the California Angels in the 14th round of the 1974 amateur draft. He played two seasons in their minor league system, 1975 and 1976, never reaching the majors.

McQueen not only dominated the rubber in Omaha, he pitched in the final game at Bovard Field where the current Annenberg Building is located and then started the first-ever game at Dedeaux Field way back in 1974.

Reliving USC's Historic 5-Straight Championships

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USC baseball (25-20, 13-11) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of winning five consecutive national championships from 1970-74 under Rod Dedeaux by recognizing the Trojans' dynasty before Saturday's game against Cal (2 p.m. first pitch).

The "Five Jewels in the Crown" were seen as an impossibility when the streak started as experts predicted parity in college baseball due to the major league draft, increased competition and the inconsistent nature of the sport.

Instead, USC, which had already won five national championships (1970-74), only asserted its dominance further completing what John Wooden once called maybe "the most remarkable achievement in sports history."

Marqise Lee Ready To Emerge In NFL Draft

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The former USC star will take his place in a crowded green room backstage: He's one of seven receivers among a record 30 players who RSVP'd to attend the NFL draft.

Pre-draft anxiety apparently bothers Lee about as much as an overmatched cornerback.

"I don't really stress about it," he told Klein.

Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as college football's top receiver, began last season projected as a possible top-10 draft pick.

Lee's resume includes 248 career catches, 29 for touchdowns, and 3,655 yards receiving, a school record amassed in three seasons.

Then Klein references the up-and-down nature of USC WR's in the NFL, which still leaves many questions about Lee's future this upcoming season. In the last 40 years, six USC receivers were drafted in the first round, four in the second.

R. Jay Soward, the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-round pick in 2000, was suspended indefinitely for substance abuse violations and never returned to the NFL after one troubled season.

Mike Williams, chosen 10th overall in 2005, fell short of expectations. Dwayne Jarrett struggled with the Carolina Panthers, but fellow second-round picks Keary Colbert and Steve Smith enjoyed modestly productive careers with several teams.

Robert Woods, a second-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in last year's draft, produced a solid rookie season.

"I know the history," Lee said, noting that each player's situation was different and that many schools have produced high draft picks who have faltered.

"I'm excited," Lee said, about his prospects for Thursday night. "I'm eager to see where they're going to end up."

The University Village Due For Major Upgrade

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The new USC village will transform the student lifestyle around campus for years to come. Nearly 2 million square feet of community-serving retail, student housing and academic space could essentially extend campus another two blocks north of Jefferson. And as if USC needed another major recruiting tool across the sporting landscape, the universities' efforts to beautify the nearby campus surroundings could add to the strong academic and athletic experience to future Trojans.

Can't wait for the $1 billion University Village!! Will be a great part of student life #FightOn" pic.twitter.com/3Yf9VbLXGK

— Steve Sarkisian (@CoachSark) April 29, 2014

"@EricZ_USC: Cant wait for the $1 billion University Village!! Will be a great part of student life @USC pic.twitter.com/FGudl1baTY #FightOn"

— Coach Johnny Nansen (@CoachJNansenUSC) April 28, 2014

USC Baseball Projected To Be Postseason Bound

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USC Baseball (24-18) had their 9-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the UC Irvine Anteaters on Tuesday night. But according to Perfect Game USA baseball expert Kendall Rogers, the Trojans are projected to face Pepperdine -who USC lost against before the streak started- as the regional No. 3 seed, which Cal Poly SLO would then host. USC will begin a big three-game series on the road in Pullman on Friday night, looking to keep alive its eight-game winning streak in conference play. After this series, the Trojans return home to face Cal and Oregon State with some non-conference mid-week games mixed in the schedule.

Golfer Rico Hoey Named 2014 Freshman of the Year

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USC's Rico Hoey, who leads the Trojans in stroke average and rounds in the 60s, has been named the 2014 Pac-12 Men's Freshman of the Year. Hoey also earned All-Pac-12 first team honors. Junior Anthony Paolucci was selected to the second team while senior Jeffrey Kang and juniors Paul Smith and Eric Sugimoto earned conference honorable mention honors. Hoey is the fifth Trojan to earn Freshman of the Year honors, and first since T.J. Vogel shared the honors in 2010. Hoey boasts a 71.19 stroke average through 36 rounds, the second-best mark by a freshman in the nation. Hoey won medalist honors at the Gifford Collegiate (Nov. 4-5) and finished in the top five in five of 10 other events this season, including the last four tournaments leading into the Pac-12 Championship. The freshman was also selected as one of 10 players who will represent the U.S. in the 2014 Palmer Cup in late June.

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