USC qualifies for 4 straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time
The USC Trojans hired Andy Enfield after his amazing run with Florida Gulf Coast and Dunk City. Since then, the Trojans have become regulars in the NCAA Tournament.
After another 20-win season, USC has qualified for the field of 68 for the fourth straight season, which marks the first time in program history that feat has been accomplished.
You will note we didn’t say USC will “play in” four straight NCAA Tournaments, only that the program “qualified” for four straight tournaments. The 2020 NCAA Tournament was never played due to the pandemic, but USC was clearly in the field. The Trojans would have been a No. 9 or 10 seed after the Jonah Mathews game, a last-second win over UCLA which sealed a bid. That was an NCAA Tournament season; the Trojans simply didn’t get a chance to play in the Big Dance, along with everyone else.
(If USC was a true bubble team in 2020 — somewhere in the projected “first four out” or “last four in” teams — we wouldn’t say the Trojans clearly qualified for the NCAA Tournament that season, but they were in fact clearly in, without any question or ambiguity.)
USC entered the Pac-12 Tournament on the good side of the bubble conversation and as a 10-seed in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology, so the Trojans arrived in Las Vegas feeling confident of their chances of playing in the Big Dance.
Here they are, set to face Michigan State in the Round of 64. Last year, the Trojans lost a tough game to Miami (Florida), and watched Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin leave. Ethan Anderson and Max Agbonkpolo transferred out amid a flurry of other changes.
However, Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis came back for one more year, and the Trojans landed talented freshman center Vincent Iwuchukwu.
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