Are USC Trojans dark horse 2022 NCAA Tournament Championship contenders?
By Evan Desai
The USC Trojans basketball program heads to the NCAA Tournament as a seven seed. It's disappointing, as they're ranked 22nd in the AP Poll, and there are only nine more Power 5 teams with more wins than SC's 26. They were for some reason, though, given a No. 7 seed and ranked 25th by the committee.
They're better than that 25th ranking, and seven seed. The AP poll agrees, their 26-7 record agrees, and interestingly the WynnBET odds for the NCAA Tournament Champion (may) also agree. They have the Trojans tied for the top 20 in odds to win the title. That's of course a higher ranking than where they're at on the AP Poll, and where the committee placed them.
That being said, it gets complicated. It truly depends on how you interpret the odds. That's because they have them tied at 20 with 10(!) other teams. SEVEN of the teams ahead of them are unranked in the AP poll. Some of the most notable bad teams listed with the same +10000 odds to take the chip as SC are Ohio State, Michigan, and Memphis. No, I don't get it either.
USC basketball has confusing odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
USC basketball's odds from WynnBET are confusing because being in the top 20 in championship odds is pretty reasonable. Being tied with teams like Michigan State and North Carolina, however, is a bit of a slap in the face. These are teams that didn't even have close to the type of season that SC did this year.
All in all, regardless of whether they take this as honorable or disrespectful, Andy Enfield will have the squad focused with their eyes on the prize. They'll leave the betting odds for the fans and the media. I know this because Enfield has always had this mentality.
If he hadn't, he would never have been hired by USC. He would have never taken FLORIDA GULF COAST of all schools to the Sweet Sixteen. That should never happen, and Enfield made it happen. He was doubted last year, and he took SC to the Elite Eight. He returns two First-Team All-Pac 12 selections, and one of them already has an NCAA Tournament All-Region selection in the past in Isaiah Mobley. In March, there's always a chance. Whether we take these odds as positive or negative, the fact that we can even ask the question shows that SC is no exception to the rule.