No. 9 Oregon Ducks (24-6, 13-4) vs. USC Trojans (20-10, 9-8)
1:00 PM PT - Galen Center - Los Angeles, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Networks - Live Stream: Pac-12 Live
Today, the Oregon Ducks go for the Pac-12 title against the USC Trojans on the road in Los Angeles. If they win, it will be just the fourth outright title in school history for Oregon. They've already locked up the No. 1 seed in next week's Pac-12 tournament, but a win today only strengthens their postseason resume for the Big Dance later this month.
Oregon is coming off a win over UCLA that clinched them at least a share of the Pac-12 title. This is the fifth conference title for the Ducks in program history and the first since 2002. That year, Oregon would go on to play in the Elite Eight. Can Oregon repeat that performance this year, or perhaps go even further?
The Ducks have won 11 straight games over USC, their longest winning streak ever against the Trojans. It's their longest winning streak over USC since winning nine straight games between 1986-87 to 1990-91.
According to BracketMatrix (a site that pulls together all the biggest bracket predictions), the Ducks are the top No. 3 seed in the tournament, coming in just behind North Carolina who grabs the final No. 2 seed. The top seeds in this projection are Kansas, Villanova, Virginia and Oklahoma.
USC has shown tremendous improvement this year. After struggling in recent seasons, the Trojans have posted 20 wins for the first time since 2009 when they went 22-13. USC has been nearly perfect at home, going 16-1 at the Galen Center. A win today would break the school record for home wins in a season, set back in 1961 when USC went 16-3.
In their previous matchup of the year in Eugene, the Ducks came away with an 89-81 win. Elgin Cook led the way with a huge performance, scoring 26 points with five rebounds and four assists. It was a big win at the time for Oregon, who was unranked, believe it or not, defeating the No. 21 ranked Trojans.
In the BracketMatrix predictions, USC comes in at a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. It looks as though USC will punch their first ticket to the NCAA tournament since the 2010-11 season when they made the tournament, but exited in the first round. The last time USC won an NCAA tournament game was in 2008-09, which was also the last time they won 20 games in a year.