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A Big Let Down- USC 58-ASU 68

58

USC

#19USC at Arizona St.

vs.

68

Arizona St.

Gabe Pruitt…Game High 22 Points
Photo: AP Photo-Roy Dabner

So after beating Arizona to put one losing streak away USC rolled into Tempe feeling pretty good about things. A win against the Sun Devils would be a lock for a spot in the tournament, a loss would one of those that would make some committee members scratch their heads. I still think SC makes the Tournament but at this point wins and losses paint the picture of where they could be seeded. A win also would give them 20 on the season. But it was not to be.

You can use all the clichés that you want but in the end SC didn't take care of business and taking care of business now is big deal as the season winds down . Don't get me wrong, beating the Wildcats did get rid us of some demons but if this team is going to get to the next level they need to win games like this. They are still a little erratic in their play and the defense still lets teams hang around but as we saw against both game against UCLA the can play top teams pretty tough but letting the bottom dweller of the Pac 10 beat you by 10 points will make more than a few shake their heads in disbelief.

No one has been happier than me to SC really put some solid wins up this year. The wins against GWU, Wichita St. and Oregon were impressive but they have had their stinkers too. We led UCLA in both games only to let them back in for the win. The Stanford loss didn't hurt as much once they beat UCLA but we should have been in a position to keep it close. WSU is good team but we should have stolen that game from them and then there is this game against ASU.

Tim Floyd knew that ASU could be a tough game for the Trojans as he warned the team of what could lie ahead, turns out he was right. After beating Arizona in Tucson for their first win since 1985 SC had a chance to quiet the doubters and show they are for real. Instead this is a big let down  that, as noted in the Diary by regular commenter BOOTYLICIOUS, has knocked them back out of the Top 25 and hurt their tournament chances. That's not the way to come into the games with theWashington schools and Stanford in the coming weeks. There just isn't any excuse for not beating ASU, winners don't lose these sorts of games and until we start putting some these games away we won't live up to our potential and we will be considered an average program. As Coach Floyd said in the LAT, "we're still just an NIT Team". He's right and until we put some of these games away that's all we'll be considered. Just wishing that we'd be better doesn't make it so. Just keeping it close against UCLA doesn't mean we've arrived. We have a great team but we need to knuckle down and focus.

I'm unconcerned about what others think, but because we have been out the national discussion in regards to basketball coupled with dominance in football you can see the craving for us to get on the front page when it comes to college hoops. Tim Floyd has some great players and he has made the most of a couple of bad situations but now is the time to lock things in because next year its gonna get crazy with Mayo coming in. There is no question that SC some great talent but now we need to have it come together. Our competition is going to better also with a top recruit coming in next season.

From The Daily News:

Arizona State looked like the NCAA Tournament-bound team and No. 22 USC like the cellar dweller over the final 17minutes, as the Sun Devils pulled away for a 68-58 upset at Wells Fargo Arena.

"It's very, very, very disappointing," USC forward Nick Young said. "This could have been one of those games that put us in the tournament."

That's why this one hurts, because they looked better than they really are. So SC's job just got a little bit tougher and there is no excuse for any losses now as it should be obvious what needs to be done. Let's hope they find their groove and put the season away on a high note.