USC Basketball Bracketology: Trojans poised for NCAA tournament bid

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 15: Chimezie Metu
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 15: Chimezie Metu /

The 2018 NCAA Tournament is still a long way off, but USC Basketball has worked their way back into solid March Madness projections.

On the eve of one of the most important stretches of the season for USC Basketball, the Trojans are poised for a bid to the NCAA Tournament…if they can keep the momentum up., which compiles projections from around the web, has USC making the tournament in 103 of 105 brackets with an average seeding of 9.8.

The highest seeding on Bracket Matrix comes via Daily Bracket, which has the Trojans as a No. 6 seed facing Houston in the first round in the Midwest region.

Here’s a sample of USC’s NCAA Tournament projections:

Resume Check

Quadrant 1 (2-2)RPI rank: 1-30 at home, 1-50 at neutral site, 1-75 on road

Wins: Middle Tennessee, New Mexico St.Losses: Oklahoma, SMU

Quadrant 3 (5-1)RPI rank: 31-75 at home, 51-100 at neutral site, 76-135 on road

Wins: CS Fullerton, UCSB, Cal, Oregon State, StanfordLosses: Stanford

Quadrant 2 (4-3)RPI rank: 76-160 at home, 101-200 at neutral site, 136-240 on road

Wins: Vanderbilt, Colorado, Utah, OregonLosses: Texas A&M, Washington, Stanford

Quadrant 4 (6-0)RPI rank: 161-351 at home, 201-351 at neutral site, 241-351

Wins: NDSU, Lehigh, Santa Clara, Akron, Washington State, CalLosses: None

USC is on a six-game winning streak as they prepare to face UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday. A win would keep their tournament hopes from slipping, but the real test is the coming three-game stretch including the Bruins.

After battling UCLA, the Trojans have a critical road trip to Arizona, where they will face No. 25 ASU and No. 9 Arizona.

New NCAA selection criteria breaks a team’s resume into “Quadrants,” giving top weight to home games against Top 30 RPI teams, neutral site games against Top 50 teams and away games against Top 75 teams.

More from Reign of Troy

UCLA and both Arizona schools are Quadrant 1 schools, giving USC the opportunity to add valuable wins. The Trojans currently have a 2-2 record in  Quadrant 1.

Emerge from that stretch with a 3-0 record and a ticket to the tournament would become a near certainty, with seeding becoming more and more favorable with each win. Get out at 2-1 and the bracketology picture will remain a positive one. A 1-2 record would be less-than-ideal, but still reasonable. However, an 0-3 stretch would be a major blow, one which could potentially derail the season.

TRENDING: Four Takeaways from Bay Area Sweep

At this stage, USC is in good shape, but the outlook can change drastically over the next two weeks.