USC basketball had a bad week last week, and dropped down to No. 21 in the latest AP Poll. Still, however, there are only four Power 5 conference teams with more wins than them this season. One would hope that the oddsmakers see past the team being under-ranked as we head into the conference tournament and approach March Madness.
Unfortunately, that appears to not be the case. WynnBET has their Final Four odds listed as tied for 23rd in the nation. The odds are +1750 right now. It's surprising, as I thought SC just proved last year that they have what it takes to perform particularly well when it matters most in the postseason.
Sure, SC doesn't have a top three draft pick this season, but they still have the returning Pac-12 Coach of the Year and a team that is better right now than they were heading into March Madness last year. If they could catch fire at the right time last year, why can't they this season?
USC basketball is slept on again as we get closer to the NCAA Tournament.
The No. 1 reason the poll, as well as the betting odds for USC basketball to make the Final Four is likely due to the fact that the Pac-12 is seen as a bad conference. And to be fair, the conference isn't great. It's better than the ACC this year--as the ACC has less Top 25 teams than the Pac, with their best team (Duke) not as highly ranked as the Pac-12's best team (Arizona) and their worst Top 25 team (North Carolina) ranked worse than the Pac-12's worst Top 25 team (USC). While the bar was a little low there, it is perplexing as to why the ACC doesn't have the poor reputation that the Pac-12 does around the country right now.
It's frustrating because everyone said the Pac was trash last year, too, and then they had three Elite Eight teams. That's two more than any other conference. The ACC didn't have any. They didn't even have three Sweet Sixteen teams (the Pac-12 had four). The conference's poor reputation has not been earned to the extent that these lists are giving it.
It goes to show that USC has quite the chip on their shoulder entering the NCAA tournament, but it's not like they didn't last year. They had a great run last year when they had something to prove, only losing in the Elite Eight to a team that ended up playing in the National Championship. Therefore, expect them to come out with some fire yet again. It all starts with building momentum in the Pac-12 tourney.