World news – USC will open the NCAA tournament against the winner from Wichita State and Drake

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USC men’s basketball has to wait a little longer to find out who exactly will be playing in the NCAA tournament. Given the Trojans’ four-year hiatus between big dances, a little uncertainty is a small price to pay.

The Trojans were named six by the selection committee and will open the tournament on Saturday against the winner from Wichita State-Drake, who will compete in the top four on Thursday.

« Full of excitement, » said senior security guard Tahj Eaddy. « We just want to do something special. »

USC stayed in Las Vegas on Friday after leaving the Pac-12 tournament. So the Trojans did an hour-long exercise on Sunday morning and then gathered in a conference room at the team hotel to eat ice cream while watching the selection show.

It was a pleasant experience as USC was sure to do the big dance and not sit on the edge of the bladder all day. The coaching team planned to have dinner together on Sunday evening, and the team would have a group activity before flying to Indianapolis on Monday morning.

« It’s nice to take a step back and realize that this group has put in a tremendous effort, » said head coach Andy Enfield. “That was a fun day for us. It was a day to remember our season.  »

However, the Trojans will soon have to do business again with two adversaries to prepare for.

Drake took the lead 25: 4 this season and finished second in the Missouri Valley behind Loyola Chicago. The Bulldogs have a balanced squad of five players who averaged double-digit points. Nationwide, Drake was 19th on matched offense and 120th on matched defense, according to KenPom.com.

Wichita State won the American Conference title in the regular season with a 16-5 record. The Shockers are led by Tyson Etienne and his 17.0 points per game.

Enfield admitted that having to prepare for two teams in the NCAA tournament was unusual, although he said teams always prepare in advance for potential second-round opponents anyway.

« If you told me the state of Wichita has three 7-foot boats, I would believe you. If you said we had economies of scale, I would believe you, too, » joked Enfield. “I don’t know about either team unless I think Wichita is in Wichita, Kan., And Drake is somewhere in the Midwest. I have to get my card out. Are you in iowa?  »

USC is in the west bracket of the tournament, although all games this season will be played in Indiana. The Trojans ranked sixth is the highest for the program since 2008.

Should USC win their game in the first round, it would fight against the winner from Kansas-Eastern Washington for a place in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Trojans have not yet reached the second weekend of the tournament in Enfield’s eight-year tenure at USC. The team was eliminated in the first round in 2016 and lost the following year in the round of 16 to Baylor by four.

Enfield said he felt last year’s team was able to make the Sweet Sixteen before the season closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked if there is pressure to reach this round this season, Enfield said, « There’s pressure on every team in the tournament. That’s what March Madness is about. But that’s a whole different team. »

He continued, « So we’re going to treat every game as it should be in the NCAA tournament. We’re going to do our best in the first game and take it from there. If we’re lucky, the first game To win, we’ll focus on the second game. So that’s our mentality. We’re happy to be here and we will take it game after game.  »
On the subject of matching items

USC has to help Evan Mobley run the NCAA tournament

USC’s comeback against Colorado in the Pac-12 semifinals is not enough

Evan Mobley, USC, overtook Utah in double OT to reach the Pac-12 semi-finals

USC has the chance to redeem Utah in the Pac-12 tournament

USC A. D. Mike Bohn: No talk of a contract extension by Andy Enfield

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