Captain Clutch

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At 2 p.m. pacific today, No. 1 USC men's tennis will play for a fourth consecutive national championship.  Senior captains Steve Johnson and Daniel Nguyen are one win away from perfect college careers.

Nguyen-Celebrate-UCLA-BK.jpgWhile Johnson steals the headlines with his immaculate dominance, Nguyen seizes the moments when the pressure valve bursts his lesser foes.  The combination crushed UCLA's dreams in the national semifinals last night and set the stage for a farewell final.

(Photo by Bill Kallenberg)

Click here for the recap of USC's Final Four win over UCLA.

Johnson did his part by cruising to doubles (alongside Roberto Quiroz) and singles wins.  Of course, Nguyen clinched the doubles point (alongside Ray Sarmiento) and dual match in typical grinding fashion.

After failing on several match points, he and Sarmiento finished off the doubles in a dramatic tiebreaker.  And when the rains forced the play inside, Nguyen had all eyes on him as he buried the Bruins in yet another third set breaker, which only solidified Nguyen's legacy as one of the most clutch athletes in USC history.

The NCAA Championship can only be viewed live online today, but our Lindsay Crouch is in Athens, GA, providing courtside video.  Here is a look at yesterday's heroics...

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