Trojans move back into the NCAA Tournament field in new bracketology
The USC Trojans were one of the “Last Four Out” in last week’s bracketology by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. This time, however, the Trojans are right back in after winning both games this past week.
In the latest projections by Lunardi, the Trojans are one of the “Last Four In” with Nevada, Wisconsin, and Mississippi State.
USC is an 11-seed in this edition and plays Wisconsin in one of the First Four games in Dayton.
As you look at the larger national landscape, you will notice a few details:
First, there are a lot of Mountain West teams near the bubble. Boise State is in the best position, but not out of the woods. Nevada is barely on the good side of the bubble, while Utah State and New Mexico are on the bad side. New Mexico and Boise State play each other later in the season. Boise State and Utah State play later in the season. The best-case scenario for USC: Boise State beats both New Mexico and Utah State to solidify its own NCAA bid but knock the Lobos and Aggies off the bubble.
One other key point is that Arizona State is a “Next Four Out” team, meaning it is in the 5-8 range outside the cut line. That would mean ASU is probably in the field if it can beat UCLA or Arizona and also beat USC plus at least one team at the Pac-12 Tournament. ASU needs to go 3-1 in its next four games, and maybe 4-1 in its next five.
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