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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: USC Trojans & The Pac-10 Basketball Tournament

The USC Trojans are right at the edge. They're so close to an NCAA tournament bid they can smell it. But they haven't done quite enough in the regular season to justify an NCAA at-large bid. With the Pac-10 still struggling as the sixth best conference in the country, USC might have to win out to earn their shot with the field of 68.

Obviously, win three games and USC gets in. The bigger question: Will two be enough?

As mentioned before on this site, the Trojans are probably a longshot to win three straight games because of the probable difficulty of each individual matchup, but two is definitely a possibility. And obviously it matters who they play: A second victory over the Arizona Wildcats would be a huge resume booster, while a victory over Oregon State/Stanford means nothing. Beating Cal would be nice, but certainly wouldn't be enough on its own to get them in.

Currently, Joe Lunardi and Chris Dobbertean (bracketologists for ESPN & SB Nation respectively) have the Trojans listed in their First Four Out, meaning USC is hovering right along that bubble surface without being able to pop through it. Two wins might just be enough to nudge them over. The best USC can probably hope for in either circumstance is a play-in game unless they're really impressive in the tournament, but hey, a second-class ticket to the Dance is better than no ticket at all.