No. 21 USC men’s basketball to face No. 13 UCLA in Pac-12 semifinals

Men’s basketball | March 11, 2022

The No. 21 USC Trojans (26-6, 14-6), the No. 3 seed, will face the No. 2 seed and the No. 13-ranked UCLA Bruins (24-6, 15-5) in the Pac -12 Tournament Semi-Finals at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada on March 11 at 8:30 p.m. The match will be shown on FS1 with Joe Davis and Casey Jacobsen calling the action. It will also air on Westwood One with Ryan Radtke and PJ Carlesimo handling the radio call. USC’s 26 wins are tied for the most wins in school history with the 2016-17 team (26-10). USC’s 25 regular season wins set a team record.

WINNING WAYS – USC has won a school-record 73 games over the past three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021, and 26 in 2022). The previous school record for wins in three consecutive seasons was 71 (2016-18). The three consecutive 20+ win seasons also ties the school record for most consecutive 20 win seasons set from 2016 to 2018.

FACE UCLA IN RUBBER MATCH –No. 13 UCLA (24-6, 15-5) is coming off a 75-65 win over Washington State in a Pac-12 quarterfinal game on March 10. UCLA has won four straight and seven of its last eight games. UCLA is trailed by Johnny Juzang with 16.2 points per game. The Trojans beat the Bruins 67-64 at the Galen Center on Feb. 12 to extend their winning streak to five against UCLA, their longest such streak since their 42-game winning streak from 1932-43. UCLA then returned the favor by defeating USC 75-68 at Pauley Pavilion on March 5. USC trails 114-144 in the all-time series (1 win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 115-144).

IT ALL STARTS WITH DEFENSE – Despite allowing Arizona to make 55.6% of their field goals on March 1, the highest percentage by a Trojan opponent since 2019, USC limited 21 of their 32 opponents under 40% shooting this season. USC holds the opposition to a shooting percentage of 38.6, 10th in the nation. USC held its first 12 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting every game and a combined shooting percentage of 35.2, which was second in the nation. The Trojans were the first team in the last 15 seasons to hold their first 12 opponents to less than 40% shooting in every game.

USC RALLY FOR PAC-12 QUARTERFINAL VICTORY OVER WASHINGTON boogie ellis scored 17 points to lead No. 3 USC to a 65-61 win over No. 6 Washington in a Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal game on March 10. Isaiah Mobley finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Drew Peterson and Reese Dixon Waters also scored 9 points for USC. USC escaped despite a season-high 23 turnovers, including four in the final two minutes that nearly cost the Trojans the game. The Trojans overcame turnovers by shooting 49.0% and holding the Huskies to 30.8% shooting. USC suffered a 21-point first half from Terrell Brown Jr. and eight turnovers to trail 39-36 at halftime. Washington pushed the lead to 8 at 44-36 at 18:14 of the second half, but USC quickly got back into the game and took the lead on two 3-pointers by Ellis and a play-and-par. Max Agbonkpolo. USC held Washington scoreless for a five-minute streak midway through the 2nd half and at 23.5 shooting percentage from the field after the break. After a series of turnovers by USC and missed shots by Washington, Dixon-Waters was fouled with 6.1 seconds left and USC clung to a 63-61 lead. He calmly sank a pair of free throws and USC was heading to the semifinals.

GOODWIN LOOKS AT THE TOP OF THE HILL — USC Front Goodwin’s played in 170 career games, second all-time among NCAA Division I players behind Iowa’s Jordan Bohanon who played 174-10 March. The NCAA record for games played this season was 157 by Ohio State’s David Lighty (2007-11). Goodwin played 65 games as a member of the Trojans program.

RIBS AND NCAA TOASTS – When USC beat Pacific 74-68 on Feb. 8, it completed an unbeaten 11-0 non-conference slate. USC was also undefeated in the 2016-17 non-conference schedule. Only USC and Villanova (2016-17 and 2017-18) have posted two perfect non-conference seasons of 10 or more wins in the past six years.

USC AT THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT — USC is *20-20 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament (1 win vacated in 2008, original record 21-20). USC went 1-1 at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, beating Utah 91-85 in 2 OT, before falling to Colorado, 72-70, on a buzzer tip. USC has played UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament six times and is 2-4 in those games. USC won the 2009 Pac-10 tournament with Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan defeating ASU and James Harden.

PAC LEADERS — USC is tied for second in conference regular-season wins among Pac-12 teams over the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season). 61-33. UCLA is 60-33, Oregon is 58-34 and Colorado is 54-40.

• USC is 10-1 in games decided by 5 points or less
• USC is 20-2 in games this season when Goodwin’s scores 9 points or more
• USC came back from 5 deficits of 10 points or more and trailed to 5
points in 17 of his victories.

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