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USC has only one path to a No. 1 seed in Women’s NCAA Tournament

The USC women’s basketball team isn’t out of the running for a No. 1 seed in the 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament, but the Trojans’ odds took a very big hit due to their loss to Utah on Sunday. Think of it this way: If the Trojans had any margin for error, it is likely gone now.

Is USC finished in terms of having any shot at a top seed? No. USC still has a chance, but it’s a slim one. To be more precise, USC has just one avenue to a No. 1 seed in the Women’s NCAA Tournament. We’ll share that path and walk through some of the other plot points involved:

IOWA LOST

USA TODAY Sports Syndication
USA TODAY Sports Syndication

Iowa lost last week, keeping the door open for USC to climb upward and get a No. 1 seed. Iowa has not locked up a top seed just yet.

NC STATE LOSES TWICE

 William Howard-USA TODAY Sports
William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

N.C. State lost to North Carolina and then Duke, so USC might actually still be ahead of the Wolfpack in the battle for a top seed.

OHIO STATE WINS

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ohio State won twice last week, so the Buckeyes are currently in line to get a top seed. Notably, USC beat OSU in the first game of the season back in November.

TEXAS WINS

USA TODAY Sports Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
USA TODAY Sports Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Texas had a winning week, so the Longhorns are probably ahead of USC on the seed list, but it’s close.

OREGON STATE LOSES TO WASHINGTON

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State and USC were both projected as No. 2 seeds going into Sunday. USC lost, but so did the Beavers. USC is still ahead of OSU on the seed list … and in the Pac-12 standings, since USC has the head-to-head tiebreaker flowing from a sweep of the season series.

THE ONE PATH

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

There is a path for USC to get a No. 1 seed, but it’s the only path. There is no alternative, no second path.

It’s simple: USC has to win its next five games, two in Arizona to finish the regular season and then three games at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. USC needs to win the Pac-12 Tournament. It won’t be easy, but if the Trojans can pull it off, they probably would have enough meat on the bone to get a top seed. If USC wins the Pac-12 Tournament after sweeping the Arizona schools, the only way USC won’t get a top seed is if all the other top-seed contenders win their conference tournaments. However, in the Big Ten, either Ohio State or Iowa will lose in the Big Ten Tournament.

USC isn’t done, but it has to win the Pac-12 tourney.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire