The Runner Sports

USC Looks To Build Momentum Into March

In a year where the Pac 12 has as many as seven teams potentially playing for a chance at the NCAA tournament, three teams stand above the rest. UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon are all recognized on a national stage for their talent and winning ways. One team, though, that isn’t regularly mentioned is USC. The Trojans although maybe not thought of in the same light as those three this season, may just be the sleeper you could use to prevent your bracket from being busted in March.

At 21-6, USC is currently sitting in 5th place in the Pac 12, and predicted to be a #10 seed in the NCAA tournament. Led by junior guard Jordan McLaughlin, who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.1 assists per game, the Trojans have not acquired a bad loss all season. The two wins that stand out as “good wins” are a game that happened early in the season against SMU in which they won 78-73, and later when they beat their rival and now ranked 5th in the country UCLA 84-76. They still have an opportunity to make a statement before the Pac 12 tournament when they play Arizona in the upcoming matchup.

To beat Arizona they will need solid contributions from fore mentioned Jordan McLaughlin and freshman guard De’Anthony Melton. Melton is averaging 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, the latter statistic being most impressive for a 6’4” guard. When freshman guard Jonah Mathews was asked what an NCAA tournament berth would mean personally to him, he said, “Making the tournament as a freshman would be amazing and just a big thing for everyone.” Then added, “I think we need to win these next games and improve our record and make a push in the Pac 12 tournament.” The first comment perfectly sums up USC’s team, when asked what it would mean personally, he was excited about it would mean as a team more than himself.

USC may not be thought of with the Kentuckys and Dukes of the world. There’s no doubt they’re doing things right and could really make a splash in the big dance this March.