Friday, March 7, 2008

Is It a 'Must Win" Situation?

There's good news and bad news. The good news is, the Trojans avoid collapse and managed to outscore Cal in an overtime period to grab a 93-89 victory. The bad news is, No. 7 Stanford is on their way to the Galen Center. In regards to the NCAA tournament, does Stanford represent a "must win" for the Trojans? My answer would be no, because "must" presents too much emphasis to decribe the current situation.

USC is 19-10 and a definate bubble team. Even with a loss to Stanford, they could pick up a couple of wins in the Pac 10 tourney to get in. But a victory over Stanford may solidify an NCAA tournament bid, because it would give the Trojans victories over UCLA and Stanford, the top 2 teams in the Pac 10. Anything can happen in those crazy conference tournaments, so it's best to put in the work now and not have to worry later.

But Stanford and the Lopez twins present a difficult task for SC, and it doesn't help that they're coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to UCLA, which handed the Bruins the Pac 10 title. The Trojans have struggled with the size of the Cardinals, so the key to this upcoming game will be the guard play of O.J Mayo and Daniel Hackett. The Trojans have won 4 of their last 5 games, and can cap their regular season by cutting down those Northern California Redwoods.

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