On to the Elite Eight!
Isaiah White had 22 points, while Tahj Eaddy chipped in with 20 as the USC Trojans defeated the Oregon Ducs 82-68 to advance in the NCAA Tournament.
It’s the first time the Trojans have made it this far since Henry Bibby led USC to the Elite Eight 20 years ago.
The Trojans were impressive in every facet of the game against the Ducks. USC shot 58.5 percent from the field and 10-of-17 from the 3-point line.
The Pac-12 rivals were neck-and-neck to start the game as the Ducks held a 17-16 lead less than minutes into the first half. But that’s when the Trojans began to take over.
Andy Enfield’s team went with a zone that gave Oregon major fits on the offensive end. USC held the Ducks to 31.3 percent shooting and just three-of-12 from deep over the opening 20 minutes.
The Trojans’ defense helped ignite the offense as well. Led by Tahj Eaddy and Isaiah White — who each had 12 points in the first half — USC connected on 57.1% of its field goal attempts and outscored Oregon 25-9 over the final 11:07 of the half and took a 41-26 lead into the break.
Ethan Anderson with the jelly on this finish pic.twitter.com/VCsbbCYW5Z— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 29, 2021
The Trojans’ zone continued to stymie Oregon as USC extended its less lead to 52-32 less than four minutes into the second half, but the Ducks didn’t fold, going on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 13.
But any hopes Oregon had of a comeback was quickly snuffed out. White and Isiah Mobley combined to score 15 of the Trojans’ next 21 points as they pushed the lead back up to 20.
The Ducks started to tighten things up on the defensive end and got back within nine before the USC put the clamps down and Eaddy put things away with this clutch 3-ball.
Eaddy. Bucket.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 29, 2021
Trojans looking to close this game out pic.twitter.com/JV0D0AcB7a
Projected top-five NBA draft pick Evan Mobley had a quite game by his standards, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists. But he put the exclamation mark on the victory.
PUT HIM ON A POSTER!@evan_mobley7 | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/9fcEF8zbEC— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) March 29, 2021
The Pac-12 has three teams in the Elite Eight, with the Trojans being joined by its cross-town rivals, the UCLA Bruins as well as the Oregon State Beavers.
USC will face its toughest test of the season in the Elite Eight. when it takes on the undefeated No. 1 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs on Tuesday.