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No. 21 USC Men's Basketball Faces Rival No. 13 UCLA In Rubber Match At Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals

Mar 11, 2022

The No. 21 USC Trojans (26-6, 14-6), the No. 3 seed, will take on the No. 2 seed and No. 13-ranked UCLA Bruins (24-6, 15-5) in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals at T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 11 at 8:30 p.m. The game will air on FS1 with Joe Davis and Casey Jacobsen calling the action. It will also be broadcast on Westwood One with Ryan Radtke and P.J. Carlesimo handling the radio call.  USC's 26 wins have tied for the most wins in school history with the 2016-17 team (26-10).  USC's 25 regular season wins set a team record.

WINNING WAYS -- USC has won a school-record 73 games over the last three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021 and 26 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 UCLA IN RUBBER MATCH --   No. 13 UCLA (24-6, 15-5) is coming off a 75-65 win over Washington State in a Pac-12 quarterfinal game on March 10.  UCLA has won four straight and seven of its last eight games.  UCLA is led in scoring by Johnny Juzang at 16.2 points per game. The Trojans defeated the Bruins 67-64 at the Galen Center on Feb. 12 to run its winning streak to five against UCLA, its longest such streak since winning 42 straight from 1932-43.  UCLA then returned the favor by defeating USC 75-68 at Pauley Pavilion on March 5.  USC trails 114-144 in the all-time series (1 win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 115-144).

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 21 of its 32 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season.  USC is holding the opposition to a 38.6 shooting percentage, 10th in the country.  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 RALLIES FOR PAC-12 QUARTERFINAL WIN OVER WASHINGTON -- Boogie Ellis scored 17 points to lead No. 3-seed USC to a 65-61 win over No. 6-seed Washington in a Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals matchup on March 10.  Isaiah Mobley finished with 9 points,  9 rebounds and 6 assists. Drew Peterson and Reese Dixon-Waters also scored 9 points for USC.  USC escaped despite having a season-high 23 turnovers, including four in the final two minutes that nearly cost the Trojans the game. The Trojans overcame the turnovers by making 49.0 percent ot their shots and holding the Huskies to 30.8 percent shooting.  USC endured a 21-point first half from Terrell Brown Jr. and eight turnovers to trail 39-36 at halftime.  Washington pushed the lead to 8 at 44-36 at the 18:14 mark of the second half, but USC quickly got back into the game and took the lead on two 3-pointers by Ellis and an and-one play by Max Agbonkpolo.  USC held Washington scoreless for a five-minute stretch midway through the 2nd half and to a 23.5 shooting percentage from the field after the break.  After a series of turnovers by USC and missed shots by Washington, Dixon-Waters was fouled with 6.1 seconds remaining and USC clinging to a 63-61 lead.  He calmly sank a pair of free throws and USC was moving on to the semfinals.

GOODWIN EYES THE TOP OF THE HILL -- USC forward Chevez Goodwin has played in 170 career games, second all-time among NCAA Division I players behind Jordan Bohanon of Iowa who has played in 174 through March 10.  The NCAA record for games played entering this season was 157 by David Lighty of Ohio State (2007-11).  Goodwin has played in 65 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 *20-20 all-time at the Pac-12 Tournament (1 win vacated in 2008, original record 21-20).  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. USC has faced UCLA at the Pac-12 Tournament six times and is 2-4 in those games.  USC won the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament with Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan besting ASU and James Harden.

LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is tied for second in conference regular season wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season)..  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.

       • USC is 10-1 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 17 of its wins.