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NCAA Tournament First Four: USC set to take on Providence

USC Men’s basketball is a long way from home

USC v UCLA Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

USC Men’s basketball had quite the journey to get to the NCAA First Four:

The USC Trojans have traveled far and are a long, long way from home. After losing to the UCLA Bruins back on March 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada the Trojans returned to Los Angeles to await their fate. When word came down Sunday afternoon that they had qualified for the First Four of the NCAA Tournament.

The Trojans then jumped on a plane and flew three time zones and 2,220 miles away to Dayton, Ohio where the temperature is currently 14 degrees with the windchill and dropping. Before they could even take off much less arrive in Ohio, however, the team endured a 5-hour delay because of an issue with the plane. The team finally arrived late Monday night well after midnight Tuesday morning.

USC men’s basketball has struggled away from the Galen Center:

It was a long journey, and USC has struggled away from the Galen Center this season going 9-6 overall but only 4 of those wins came against teams with a winning record. None of those wins came against teams with at least 20 wins. Their best win away from the Galen Center this season may have been against the 19-14 Colorado Buffaloes. The Trojans have not shown a consistent ability to beat quality opponents away from home.

Bottom line - If the Trojans want to extend their season another week they will need to beat 3 quality opponents in five days away from the Galen Center.

It is a tall order and kicking it all off the Trojans will once again be playing the Providence Friars (20-12 overall 10-8 in the Big East) in their opening contest of the NCAA Tournament. Last year USC fell apart late against Providence and lost on a last second heart breaker.