The USC Trojans entered the MPSF Tournament uncertain of their NCAA future. After dropping the third-place game to No. 2 seed UCLA on Sunday afternoon, the Trojans were up in the air about whether they, or MPSF Tournament host Long Beach State, who lost the MPSF Conference Title by one goal to Stanford, would secure the final at-large berth for the NCAA Championships.
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is loaded with top talent, and the No. 1-2-3 seeds in the tournament (UCLA, Stanford, USC) all reign from the "Conference of Champions."
If the Trojans advance from the play-in game on November 29th, squaring with Whittier College, USC will face No. 2 Stanford in the semifinals starting December 6th in La Jolla, California. The Trojans lost both meetings to Stanford this season, the most recent coming in the MPSF Tournament (7-4). But USC has won each of the past six national championships thanks to some clutch postseason performances.
*All game times Eastern Standard
In pursuit of an unprecedented seventh straight title, head coach Jovan Vavic sports a young roster featuring four seniors and 22 freshman that have played well beyond their years. Led by USC all-time scoring leader Kostas Genidounias and senior driver Rex Butler, the Trojans have a one-two punch on offense capable of beating any team in the nation.
Freshman McQuin Baron, a 6-foot-9 monster from Mater Dei High School, controls the cage for the defensive-minded Trojans. One thing we know for sure about NCAAs, the games will be low scoring and might come down to one or two possessions. USC has already beaten UCLA once this season, and they lost to Stanford by one, 11-10, up in Palo Alto so expect a wild finish to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Time for a trip down memory lane to the 2013 NCAA Championship over Pacific.