The contest was in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals at Imperial Arena at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Freshman Julian Phillips scored a game-high 25 points for the Vols.
Tennessee led, 27-24, at halftime after USC’s Boogie Ellis recorded a three-point field goal as time expired.
Tennessee advances to the tournament championship game Friday. The Vols will play No. 3 Kansas at 7:30 p.m. EST (ESPN). The Jayhawks defeated Wisconsin in overtime in Thursday’s other semifinal.
Olivier Nkamhoua recorded 10 points for the Vols, while Tyreke Key totaled eight.
Santiago Vescovi recorded seven points, five rebounds and four assists for Tennessee.