Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis prepare for last NCAA Tournament run

The emotion and poignancy of the NCAA Tournament are connected to several different realities, but the main one is that in 40 short scoreboard minutes — two hours of real time — many great collegiate basketball careers come to an abrupt end.

The finality is immediate in college basketball, and this finality exists on a level college football can’t match.

Football games are nearly four hours long. Reality has a much longer time to set in. Also, football has individual bowl games, a one-game postseason. The NCAA Tournament lasts six games for the teams good enough to make the national championship game. It lasts three weeks for the teams good enough to make the Final Four. We don’t know if a college career will last one game or three weeks. That’s why the end stings, especially when it comes so early.

Two great USC Trojans will try to avoid that abrupt end this week in Columbus, Ohio. Maybe they can lead USC to the Sweet 16 next week. At the very least, they will try to prolong their careers until Sunday afternoon and the second round.

Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson, the two men who have carried the Men of Troy this season, will try to be at their best on Friday against Michigan State, so that USC’s season can march on in March for at least 48 more hours.

Ellis was a superstar against Arizona and Arizona State, scoring a combined 63 points in those two games and stepping up when the Trojans needed to secure their place in this NCAA Tournament.

Drew Peterson has made three straight NCAA Tournaments as a central contributor at USC. He joins a very select group of Trojans (Taj Gibson, Daniel Hackett, Dwight Lewis) and has given himself a lofty place in USC basketball annals.

Hopefully, this big stage brings forth the very best from these two special players. If it doesn’t, it won’t diminish what Boogie and Peterson have accomplished. We simply want them to have a final act which magnifies what they have both done for USC basketball.

More 1995 usc trojans!

After first PAC-10 win, 1995 USC Trojans remain No. 5 in AP Poll

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire