The Pac-10 might be on the verge of sending four NCAA teams after all. But it's safe to say no USC Trojans fan will really know their team's fate until the Selection Sunday show is over.
Joe Lunardi projects USC will be the final team into the NCAA tournament field of 68. The Trojans would have to play the Clemson Tigers in Chicago in the First Four tournament, meaning they'd have to play three games in one weekend of March Madness to get to the Sweet 16, but a tougher ticket is better than no ticket at all.
That being said, last team in does not necessarily bode well for USC's chances. At 19-14, USC has beaten all the other NCAA tournament bound teams from the Pac-10 at least once (Washington, Arizona, UCLA), and crushed Texas at home and upset Tennessee in Knoxville. They have some quizzical losses though that could hold their candidacy back (Bradley, Rider, TCU). Their Pac-10 tournament showing might've been strong enough, but it also might've just fallen short of what was necessary to get them over the hump. And one has to wonder if the suspension of head coach Kevin O'Neill will have any impact on whether the Pac-10's best defensive team will get to showcase their talents to the world, or settle on trying to finish 69th best team in the land in the NIT.
Also, after Penn State's upset of Michigan State, Chris Dobbertean (SB Nation's bracket expert) has USC as his second team OUT of the tournament. So at this point, you might as well flip a coin to figure out whether Southern California will be going dancing.