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No. 21 USC Men's Basketball To Face Washington/Utah Winner In Pac-12 Quarterfinals

Mar 7, 2022

he No. 21 USC Trojans (25-6, 14-6), the No. 3 seed, will take on the winner of the No. 6 seed Washington (16-14, 11-9)  and No. 11 Utah (11-19, 4-16) game in the Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 10 at 8:30 p.m. The game will air on FS1 with Joe Davis and Casey Jacobsen calling the action.  USC's 25 wins are a regular season school record.  The most wins in school history (including postseason) is 26 set in the 2016-17 season (26-10). 

WINNING WAYS -- USC has won a school-record 72 games over the last three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021 and 25 in 2022).  The previous school record for wins in three consecutive seasons was 71 (2016-18). The three consecutive seasons of 20+ wins also equals the school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons set from 2016-18.  

FACING WASHINGTON --   The Washington Huskies (16-14, 11-9) finished sixth in the conference by winning 3 of its last 4 games.  Guard Terrell Brown Jr. leads the Huskies and the Pac-12 in scoring with a 21.7 points per game average. USC defeated Washington 79-69 at the Galen Center on Feb. 17, their only meeting of the season.  USC lead the all-time series 76-75 (2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 78-75).  USC and Washington have met 2 times at the Pac-12 Tournament with USC winning 78-73 in 2017 and Washington winning 78-75 in 2018.

FACING UTAH - The Utah Utes (11-19, 4-16) finished 11th in the conference.  The Utes began the season 8-4, but lost 15 of their last 18 games.  Center Branden Carlson leads Utah with a 13.6 ppg scoring average, but eight Ute players average over 5.0 ppg. USC defeated Utah 93-73 in Los Angeles and 79-67 in Salt Lake City this season.  USC trails 24-26 in the all-time series with Utah.  USC defeated Utah 91-85 in double-overtime in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament and is 1-2 all-time against the Utes in the conference tournament.

IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE -- Despite allowing Arizona to make 55.6 percent of its field goals on March 1, the highest percentage by a Trojan opponent since 2019, USC has held 20 of its 31 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season.  USC is holding the opposition to a 38.9 shooting percentage, 14th in the country (6th entering the Arizona game).  USC held its first 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting in each game and to a combined 35.2 shooting percentage, which was second in the country.  The Trojans were the first team in the last 15 seasons to hold its first 12 opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each game. 

USC CAN'T OVERCOME TURNOVERS, FALLS AT UCLA -- Isaiah Mobley scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as No. 16 USC fell to rival No. 17 UCLA in Westwood on March 5 despite a late rally. Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson each contributed 13 points. The Trojans' historic 5-game winning streak over the Bruins, its longest since 42-straight from 1932-43, came to an end. Despite an early 5-minute stretch without a basket, the game remained close at 25-22 UCLA with 5 minutes left in the first half when UCLA went on an 11-3 run to go up 11 before settling for a 41-35 halftime lead.  USC tied the game at 47-all at the 15.29 mark of the 2nd half when Ellis completed a 4-point play.  UCLA then built the lead back up as the Trojan turnovers continued to mount.  Down 13 points with 5:49 left in the game, the Trojans attempted a comeback with Mobley scoring eight points on a 12-1 run. The spurt cut the Bruin lead to two points with 1:22 remaining. Cody Riley then hit a fadeaway 13-footer to give UCLA a 4-point lead and USC had 4 misses and a turnover in its final 5 possessions, while UCLA made 3 of 4 free throws to close it out.  USC committed 15 turnovers to UCLA's one, a Trojan opponent record, and was outscored 21-3 on points off turnovers.  

GOODWIN EYES THE TOP OF THE HILL -- USC forward Chevez Goodwin has played in 169 career games, second all-time among NCAA Division I players behind Jordan Bohanon of Iowa who has played in 173 through March 6.  The NCAA record for games played entering this season was 157 by David Lighty of Ohio State (2007-11).  Goodwin has played in 64 games as a member of the Trojans' program.

THE TOASTS OF THE COASTS AND NCAA -  When USC defeated Pacific 74-68 on Feb. 8 it completed an undefeated nonconference slate of 11-0.  USC was also undefeated during the 2016-17 nonconference schedule.  Only USC and Villanova (2016-17 and 2017-18) have posted two perfect nonconference seasons of 10 or more wins in the last six years.

USC AT THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT -- USC is *19-20 all-time at the Pac-12 Tournament (1 win vacated in 2008, original record 20-20).  USC went' 1-1 at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, defeating Utah 91-85 in 2 OT, before falling to Colorado, 72-70, on a tip-in at the buzzer.

LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is tied for second in conference wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season) through games of March 6.  USC is 60-34 in conference games during that stretch, one behind Arizona who is at 61-33.  UCLA is 60-33, Oregon is 58-34 and Colorado is 54-40.

TROJAN TIDBITS:
     • USC is 9-1 in games decided by 5 points or less
     • USC is 20-2 in games this season when Chevez Goodwin scores 9 or more points
     •USC has comeback from 5 deficits of 10 points or more and has trailed by as many as 5 
       points in 16 of its wins.