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We've sort of reached the end of the road for Kevin O'Neill and the Trojans, as they have just two games left against the Arizona schools before the season comes to an abrupt end with no Pac-10 or NCAA tournament in the cards. After officially being eliminated from contention for the Pac-10 regular season title, 'SC doesn't have a whole lot left to play for other than pride and the opportunity play spoilers as Arizona State still has a shot to earn a share of the conference title with Cal. From the LA Times:
Up until this point, they had something to play for - a shot on the Pacific 10 Conference regular-season championship - but that was 86'd last week.
"I'll be interested to see who our guys react," O'Neill said.
The chance to spoil Arizona State's chance of winning a share of the league title is some motivation. Pride is another. "We still want to finish at the top rather than the bottom, where everyone projected us," point guard Mike Gerrity said.
Picked to finish ninth in a Pac-10 preseason poll, USC stayed in championship contention until last week. However, the Trojans have lost three straight.
After everything this team has worked for this season, it would be rather disheartening if they just came out flat and tanked over these final two games. While I recognize that there is hardly anything left to play, it'd still be nice to end the year on a positive note, especially considering everything that has happened. At the very least, they can finish above UCLA in the conference standings, which is always something to drink to.