While USC's win against the Huskies on Saturday was impressive their loss to Washington State might have burst their bubble. Also hurting them was Indiana St. beating Missouri St. in the MVC final. From what some have told me who follow the sport closer than I do Indiana St. had little chance of going without winning their conference championship.
Penn St. beating Minnesota didn't help us either...
The OCR has some pretty good information on USC's chances.
Here’s what three experts had to say heading into this evening’s action, including the suddenly important Virginia Commonwealth-Old Dominion game (the letters "CAA" haven’t meant this much to USC since the school’s latest agent scandal):
USC is quietly lurking in the bid chase. This team did beat Texas at home and won at Tennessee. The Trojans won at Washington on Saturday and have previously beaten UCLA and Arizona. If USC is to earn an at-large berth, it will have to be earned, and that means knocking off Cal and Arizona to get to a final (in the Pac-10 Tournament). Do that and the Trojans will be on the board for a bid.
The Trojans played eight games early without Jio Fontan, their second-leading scorer. He missed two of their three really bad losses, against TCU and Bradley. That is the kind of thing the committee considers, but they do not treat the games as if they were not played or as if USC would have won if Fontan played. Further diminishing the argument of his importance is that they also picked up their best win of the season against Texas without him. If USC is good enough to beat Texas without Fontan, you’d think they could handle Bradley and TCU.
Here’s my personal breakdown, in lieu of the Trojans gaining an automatic berth by winning the Pac-10 Tournament:
- If USC loses Thursday vs. Cal … OUT.
- If USC beats Cal but loses to Arizona … MAYBE.
- If USC beats Cal and Arizona but loses in the Pac-10 final … PROBABLY.
I think RPI gets too much play when Ken Pom and Sagarin are just as informative and tell a pretty good picture of how a team plays from game to game.
With losses that stand out to me to Rider, Bradley, Oregon, Nebraska, Oregon St. and TCU...even with wins over UCLA, Texas, Tennessee and UW, I just don't see how USC pulls it out when their overall body of work is average
I just don't think 'SC makes it.
Unless 'SC wins the Pac-10 tourney, The NCAA would probably be happy if we didn't make it in as an added punishment </end conspiracy theory>.
There are some other games to watch over the next couple of days other than the Pac-10 tournament.
VCU vs. Old Dominion. A win for VCU gives the Colonial three bids when you add in George Mason. That certainly would not help us.
Gonzaga vs. St Mary's. There are a few brackets that have the Zags on the bubble so I will route for St. Mary's.
Butler vs. Milwaukee. Milwaukee has beat Butler twice already this year but Milwaukee isn't going to the dance without a win over Butler. Not impossible but I don't think it's likely...Root for Butler!
Providence vs. Marquette. Marquette has some big wins but not very good on the road...Take Providence.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi has USC as one of the first four out but if USC can play deep into the Pac-10 Tournament that means they could hopefully steal an at-large bid.
It all starts on Thursday...