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USC women’s basketball makes NCAA Tournament history in 2024 at the Galen Center

USC women’s basketball entered Thursday night’s game in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats in position for a top-two seed in the Women’s NCAA Tournament. Beating Arizona solidified USC’s place near the top of the bracket. Saturday’s victory against Arizona State further cements USC as a team which will get a very high seed in March Madness. All of this is meant to convey a simple point: There is zero doubt now — it’s a lock — that USC will host NCAA Tournament games at the Galen Center. Stop and realize how big that is.

It’s more than just having a great chance to move to the Sweet 16 and make a run at the Women’s Final Four. That’s the biggest reason these home games matter, but the other really big story here is that USC has never previously hosted NCAA Tournament games in Galen. This will be the first time that has happened.

Let’s go through some of the key details attached to this milestone, including and especially when these games will be played so that you can set aside time on your calendar if you live in Los Angeles and want to watch this special team:

DAYS OF PLAY

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

The Women’s NCAA Tournament bracket won’t be revealed for another two weeks, but we can already tell you this much: USC will host the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament at the Galen Center. Games will either be on Friday, March 22, and Sunday, March 24, or on Saturday the 23rd and Monday the 25th. You get to watch your Trojans play on their home floor in March Madness! What an opportunity! You won’t want to miss this!

GALEN CENTER OPENED IN 2006

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

A building which opened 18 years ago finally hosts women’s NCAA Tournament games. It’s a reminder of how dormant USC women’s basketball was for a very long time before Lindsay Gottlieb revitalized the program.

GOTTLIEB'S REVIVAL

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lindsay Gottlieb, by taking USC to the NCAA Tournament last year, got the Trojans back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2014. Now, USC is poised to be an annual NCAA Tournament team for as long as Gottlieb is coaching here. It’s a new era at USC.

GET READY FOR MORE OF THIS IN THE FUTURE

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Gottlieb has the No. 1-ranked 2024 recruiting class coming in. The Trojans are likely to be an annual March Madness host at Galen for a very long time, given how well Gottlieb is building the program and its future rosters.

JUJU WATKINS BEGINS HER NCAA TOURNAMENT JOURNEY

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

JuJu Watkins gets to play her first NCAA Tournament game on her home floor, made in L.A. How cool is that? A generational player gets to pursue the Final Four in her native city.

NO. 1 SEED?

Barbara Perenic/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports
Barbara Perenic/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

USC needs at least two wins at the Pac-12 Tournament (quarterfinals and semifinals) to be in play for a No. 1 seed at the NCAA Tournament. If USC wins the Pac-12 Tournament, it will very likely be a No. 1 seed.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire