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March Madness

NCAA Tournament 2022: USC Trojans' Road to the Final Four

Evan Desai
Mar 11, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Isaiah Mobley, USC Basketball
Mar 11, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Isaiah Mobley, USC Basketball / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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USC basketball enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 seed in the Midwest region, and that's objectively stupid. There are only nine Power 5 teams with more wins than SC's 26, and they're ranked 22nd in the country. How does that warrant a seven seed?

Look at the No. 6 seed in our region? LSU isn't ranked at all and went 22-11 this season, but have a higher seed. It's ridiculous, and puts SC in a tough spot when it comes to making a Final Four run. Final Four should be the goal, right? They made the Elite Eight last year, so theoretically, making progress would to an extent require a Final Four appearance.

As of this point in the season, SC has made progress over last year. They entered the tourney ranked 24th last year, and they enter the tourney ranked 22nd this time around. It will be tough to continue building off of the 2020-2021 season without a top three NBA Draft pick on the roster anymore. If SC can get past the Round of 32, however, anything is possible.

USC basketball will play the winner of Auburn-Jacksonville State when they beat Miami in the Round of 64.

Therefore, barring an epic upset that everyone will be rooting for, USC basketball will be facing off against 2-seeded Auburn in the Round of 32. If they can get past Auburn, they'll likely be playing either Wisconsin or LSU. I've already explained why SC is a better team than LSU. As far as Wisconsin goes, SC has the same amount of losses as them and two more wins.

SC is seeded so much lower due to the perception of the Pac-12 being bad. That was the perception the conference had last year too, however, and then three Pac-12 teams made the Elite Eight (more than any other conference). East coast bias is real, as poll voters and committee members don't stay up to watch Pac-12 games. One would think that they would stop with this ridiculousness after they were proven so wrong about the Pac last year, but unfortunately that's not the case.

SC absolutely could beat No. 3 seed Wisconsin. And then, USC would likely play Kansas or Providence in the Elite Eight. They can take Providence, as Providence has less wins than SC (25) and they certainly don't play Power 5 basketball. And while Kansas is exceptional, they've had early second-round exits in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments. They're upset prone, and USC curb stomped them in the tournament last year, 51-85.

Next. Top 5 2023 in-state recruits for USC to go after. dark

SC returns many key players from that squad, so as they always say; in March, there's always a chance. That Auburn matchup looks quite daunting, and Kansas is still a great No. 1 seed. It absolutely is not out of the realm of possibility for this team to make a Final Four run, however, as Trojans Head Coach Andy Enfield has overachieved in the tournament before at both USC and Florida Gulf Coast University.

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