USC To Face No. 11 SMU In NCAA First Round Game In Tulsa Friday|
March 16, 2017
TODAY’S GAME -- The No. 11 seed in the East Region USC Trojans (25-9, 10-8) will face the No. 6 seed SMU Mustangs (30-4, 17-1) in an NCAA First Round game at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. on March 17 at 2:10 p.m. (CT). Tonight’s game will air on truTV with Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Reggie Miller calling the action and Dana Jacobson providing sideline commentary. USC has matched the school record of 25 wins in a season, done by the 2007 Trojans (25-12). The 46 wins during the last two seasons by USC are tied for the most in a two-season stretch in school history (46 combined wins in 2001-02 and 2007-08). The 23 regular season wins were USC’s most since the 1992 team also won 23.
TICKETS FOR TROJANS -- Trojan fans can purchase tickets for USC vs. SMU game in the NCAA Tournament by going to USCTrojans.com/tickets. All seating is reserved. Seats will be assigned based on level of membership and years of purchase. All tickets will be held at Will Call for pick up at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., beginning 90 minutes prior to game time. There is a limit of 4 tickets per account. Purchase of tickets for Friday's game authorizes USC to charge the same card for tickets to Sunday's game upon a USC win.
USC IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT -- USC is 13-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which reflects one loss in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC defeated Providence in a First Four game on March 15 for its first NCAA Tournament win since the 2009 season. That season it defeated Boston College in the first round, before falling to Michigan State in the second round. USC then lost a First Four game to VCU in 2011 and a first round game to Providence last season. USC was in four of five NCAA Tournaments from 2007-11 and this is the first back-to-back appearances since three-straight from 2007-09. USC reached the Final Four in 1940 and 1954, the regional final in 2001 and the regional semifinal in 2007.
BREAKING DOWN SMU -- SMU (30-4, 17-1) won the American Athletic regular season and conference tournament titles. SMU guards Shake Milton (13.2), Sterling Brown (13.2) and forward Ben Moore (11.6) all averaged double figures in points. USC defeated SMU 78-73 at the Galen Center on Nov. 25 and leads the all-time series 4-1.
USC WINS EPIC FIRST FOUR GAME -- USC rallied from 17 points down in the second half to defeat Providence 75-71 in a First Four game at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio on March 15. The comeback was the seventh largest in NCAA Tournament history and was USC’s first win in the tournament since 2009. USC picked up its 25th win of the season in the process, tying the school record set in 2007 (25-12). USC trailed 44-29 at halftime and 46-29 one minute into the second half before turning things around. The Trojans would outrebound the Friars 21-9 and outscore them 46-27 in the second half to complete the comeback. USC still trailed 53-43 with 11:45 remaining when it went on a 20-7 run to take a 63-60 lead and never trailed the rest of the way. Chimezie Metu scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and his jumper from the side at 6:46 gave the Trojans the lead. Jordan McLaughlin also had 11 second-half points and finished with 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Bennie Boatwright led USC with a career-high 24 points and Nick Rakocevic sparked the rally with nine points off the bench. USC rebounded from its cold-shooting first half (34.5 percent) to make 50 percent of its shots in the second half. Providence hit eight three-pointers (8 of 15) in the first half, but was only 1-for-5 from beyond the arc in the second half.
ON DECK -- The winner of No. 11 seed USC-No. 6 seed SMU game will play the winner of the No. 14 seed New Mexico State (28-5)-No. 3 seed Baylor (25-7) game on March 19.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY AND HOOPS -- USC has a 3-3 record all-time in games played on St. Patrick’s Day, the last time being a 70-69 loss to Providence in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. USC’s last win on St. Patrick’s Day was a 74-71 win over Boston College in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. USC also won 90-74 against UNLV in the first round of the NIT in 1993, won 76-73 in OT against Bradley in the first round of the commissioner’s conference tournament in 1974, lost 69-65 against Notre Dame in the first round of the NIT in 1973 and lost 86-71 to Arizona State in the second round of the 1961 NCAA Tournament. The game against Notre Dame is notable as it was played at Madison Square Garden in NYC, the Irish wore shamrocks on their uniforms and were awarded 33 more free throws. USC’s head coach Bob Boyd was quoted as saying, “I want to thank the tournament committee for pairing us with Notre Dame on St. Patrick’s Day!” One of the officials for the game was Tom Casey.
TALKING TULSA -- USC also played an NCAA Tournament first round game in Tulsa in the 1985 season and lost 58-55 to Illinois State as an eighth seed. USC head coach Andy Enfield’s wife Amanda was born about a two-hour drive away in Mustang, Okla.