USC reawakened the fan base for at least a week with three entertaining games in the NCAA Tournament. What could have been this week if the Trojans won Sunday night? An East Regional without the No. 1 seed (Villanova) or No. 2 seed (Duke)? USC would have been as good as anyone else left in the regional. The Final Four really was possible.
The next two games are at Madison Square Garden, a basketball mecca in the heart of the Big Apple. Wow. It again makes me appreciate the 2001 Elite Eight run highlighted by a victory over Kentucky and that team’s first two games were in Long Island.
Now two things that I tire of hearing already: USC set a school record with 26 victories. It got 13 nonconference victories without playing almost anybody. Check who the 1971 team played in nonconference games here. And let’s not get too excited over two NCAA wins when one of them was in a First Four game. USC also went to the Round of 32 in 2009. No one was this thrilled over that. It went to the Sweet 16 in 2007. I remember excitement over that. Justifiably.