We are 2 weeks away from Selection Sunday and things are starting to heat up as we approach the last regular season games and conference tournaments. USC found themselves on a 4 game winning streak as well as locking up a first round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament. They’re also a victory and one Arizona loss away from clinching a share of the Pac-12 regular season championship despite losing forward Bennie Boatwright for the season and more FBI/NCAA issues coming forward. We take a look at the different bracket projections to see if the Trojans improved their chances to make another NCAA Tournament appearance.
CBS Sports- East Region Play In Game vs. Texas: CBS Bracketologist expert Jerry Palm has the Trojans playing in Dayton, Ohio against the Texas Longhorns. This game would determine who would advance as the 12 seed in the East region to face the Kentucky Wildcats, who are projected as 5 seed. USC’s winning streak has done little to help them budge in Palm’s bracket projection. A win over UCLA added by a deep run in the Pac-12 Championship could help boost the Trojans seeding and get them out of the First Four Games in Dayton.
SB Nation- First Four Out- As of February 23rd Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation has the Trojans on the outside looking in. Why you might ask? Dobbertean states that New Mexico State, the team whom the Trojans defeated in the Diamond Head Classic Championship game back in December, dropped out of the RPI top 50 which meant the Trojans lose a Group 1 victory. That hurts the Trojans resume for the NCAA Tournament, however that changed when the Trojans defeated Utah Saturday morning, giving them a replacement for that group 1 area. Again a season finally win at home over UCLA and a deep Pac-12 Tournament run should help the Trojans status and positioning for March Madness.
ESPN- Midwest Region Play In Game vs. Syracuse: In the February 22nd update of ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s bracket the Trojans are projected to be in the First Four Play In game in Dayton, Ohio. Their opponent would be the Syracuse Orange where the winner would face Kentucky as a 12 seed in the Midwest region.
We added a special area for the Women of Troy as they are also in the hunt to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014. USC women’s Basketball team currently holds a 19-10 record with a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the Trojans as an 11 seed in the Lexington bracket where they would face 6 seed South Florida in the projected bracket. USC is also a last four in team in Crème’s bracket. To solidify their position in the NCAA Tournament, the Women of Troy will have to make a good run in next weekend’s Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle, Washington.