USC basketball is currently ranked No. 16 in the country, and is sitting at 25-5 on the season with one game left. They've had a good year, but haven't had the most intimidating strength of schedule, and have ended up in some close games against bad teams.
They have won those games, but their overall resume isn't as strong as a typical 25-5 team is; hence their ranking outside the top 15. The Trojans look to have another strong NCAA tournament run, and it's worth checking out where the bracketology experts have them as we head into the conference tournament.
The top bracketology experts all have USC basketball heading into the NCAA tournament as the same seed.
While these elite bracketology experts don't have USC basketball getting the most exciting seed, it's not 'terrible.' The reality is that the Pac-12 being so weak doesn't make USC look better. If SC would have won one of these contests against Arizona, things could be different. Hopefully they can win the conference tournament and move up the seeding.
Joe Lunardi (ESPN) Bracketology: 03/01/2022
Lunardi has USC basketball as a six seed to enter the NCAA tournament, and has them playing 11-seeded Creighton. I like that matchup, as Creighton holds a 19-9 record. Creighton plays in the Big East, which is admittedly not much worse than the Pac-12 right now, but they haven't had the season SC has this year.
Creighton isn't terrible this season, as they do have three quad 1 wins this year. For what it's worth, SC has just one. SC has plenty of Quad 2 wins, however, and have shown a lot of mental toughness in being so good on the road and so good on defense.
Jerry Palm (CBS) Bracketology: 03/02/2022
Jerry Palm of CBS also had USC basketball as a six seed in the tournament right now. He's got them playing the 11-seeded SMU. This would be a more favorable contest than SC playing against Creighton. SMU plays in the American, which has been legitimately horrible this season.
They sit at 20-7 in a much weaker conference than SC. They have four losses in that awful conference, and have no more quad one wins than the Trojans. Palm has both Creighton and SMU on the bubble, which shows that it appears SC shouldn't have it too tough in their first tournament game this year.
Andy Katz (NCAA) Bracketology: 03/01/2022
Like the other two, Andy Katz has USC basketball as a six seed as well. He has just three Pac-12 teams making the NCAA tournament, and I can't necessarily blame him. USC, UCLA, and Arizona are of course good teams, but to get anybody else in the tournament would call for a Pac-12 tournament miracle like Oregon State did last year.
If the tournament sees something like that again, SC may look a bit better. Or, SC could dominate and win the conference tournament, which would lead to a jump up the ladder in the more preferable way. All in all, the Trojans aren't in the best spot as we get closer to the tournament, but it could be a whole lot worse.