Friday, February 22, 2008

Left For Dead Cagers Reveal A Pulse

First came the news of Daniel Hackett being gone for the remainder of the season. Then came the 4 point and 10 turnover performance by O.J Mayo, in their loss to the hated crosstown rival Bruins. And tonight it was a 13 point second half deficit to the Oregon Ducks that had me believing the Trojans' postseason tournament hopes were dim, and the season was dead.

It didn't look good for the Men of Troy, and the Galen Center was hushed by O.J Mayo picking up his 3rd foul before the first half even ended. Oregon had pulled out to a 15 point lead, and the lowering of the casket began. But Mayo pumped new life in the second half, scoring 18 of USC's last 24 points to finish with 32 for the game.

USC's 20-6 second half run brought the noise back to the building, returned the pep in their steps, gave the Trojans the lead, and a check in the win column. I'll admit that I had them written off from everything but the NIT, but tonight's victory leaves them in great shape. With a strength of schedule rank of 9, and a strong RPI, if the madness began today, the Trojans would be in. But there's still work to do, so let's not get too far ahead. They need to complete their schedule and have a strong showing in the Pac 10 tournament, and then we can all exhale.

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