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Game Thread: USC vs. Washington

It's a longshot, but a first round bye is still possible

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's the beginning of the end of the 2012-13 basketball season for the USC Trojans/Second Chance Kids/Fighting Cantus, and it ends in the northwest with two games against the Huskies and Cougars.

Even at this late stage of the game, there's still a lot of intrigue to be found. Because they upset Arizona last week, the Trojans still have a small chance to sneak into fourth place and steal a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament. But in order to do that, four things need to happen, and not all of them are in SC's power:

-- USC must win tonight.

-- Oregon must defeat Colorado tomorrow to break the Buffaloes' tie w/ USC.

-- USC must beat Washington State

And the hardest one of all:

-- ASU must defeat Arizona on Saturday.

It's a tall order, but step 1 can be cleared tonight. Ari Stewart is expected to play in some capacity after being sidelined for three weeks with a broken thumb, and Jio Fontan will also try to play after spraining his wrist late in the game against ASU and being forced to limit his practice time. USC defeated Washington on Feb. 10 at Galen by a score of 71-60, making 25 field goals, 18 total assists, and 90% free throw shooting. The key to winning these next two road games, of course, will be whether or not Cantu can get his players to buck this trend of 2nd half defensive collapses and shut down their opponents before they can get themselves and their fans back in the game.

The game is at 8:30 PT on the Pac-12 network. Discuss below.

Beat the Huskies!