USC basketball is six games away from winning the Pac-12 and setting up one of their most advantageous NCAA Tournament seeds ever.
With an 11-2 record, the Trojans already have as many or more Pac-12 victories as they managed in 18 of the last 20 seasons. One more will tie them with 2017-18 and 2001-02 as the winningest conference seasons this century. They need to win five out of six to claim the most conference wins in program history.
More importantly, they're in the driver's seat for the Pac-12 title, holding a one-game advantage over UCLA. It would be their first regular-season crown since 1985.
Credit goes to Andy Enfield for recruiting talent like the Mobley brothers, Evan and Isaiah, then surrounding them with transfers like Tahj Eaddy, Drew Peterson and Isaiah White. They've come together remarkably well.
The real test comes in finishing the job. Enfield has turned the Trojans into a solid mid-tier Pac-12 program. They've been in the title hunt a couple of times but floundered in February too often to truly contend. This time, the Trojans are 4-0 since the month started while besting UCLA at the Galen Center and fighting off challenges in road wins over Stanford, Washington and, most recently, Washington State.
It's make or break time. Mobley and company are on the road to the Pac-12 title and more.
The Trojans haven't managed a No. 4-seed or higher in the NCAA tournament since 2002. They're currently on the outside looking in, but they're at least in the conversation. Continuing on this run would catapult them into the NCAA's Top 16 seeds.
The road won't be easy. First they'll take on ASU and Arizona at home. The desert schools aren't having their strongest campaigns with records of 6-9 and 14-7 respectively. Neither are contending for the conference title, but they're both capable of throwing a wrench in USC's plans.
Then it'll be a date with Stanford. USC won their last meeting with a late comeback. The 13-8 Cardinal will be out for revenge.
That three-game stretch is the easy part. It's all uphill from there.
The Trojans will have the chance to avenge their only home loss of the Pac-12 slate, but they'll have to do it in Boulder against Colorado. The Buffalos are 16-6 with a 10-5 conference record. Since a win would keep them in the hunt, you can bet they'll be motivated.
Utah looms next in Salt Lake City. The Utes are competitive even if their 9-8 record doesn't stand out. They don't go down easily, especially at home.
Finally, the grudge match with UCLA will end the regular season. It could be for all the marbles with the Bruins entering this final stretch one-game down.
For the first time in a long time, USC controls their own destiny. Glory awaits if the Trojans have what it takes to reach out and grab it.