Team of the Day: USC

    
February 29th, 2008

USC
18-9 (9-6 Pac-10)

Computer numbers (courtesy of kenpom.com): RPI 39, SOS 23

While the Trojans looked to be in decent shape regarding the NCAA Tournament before their 70-58 win at Arizona Thursday night, it doesn't hurt to get a solid road win at this point in the season. OJ Mayo led four Trojans in double figures with 20, and Tim Floyd's use of the "triangle and two" defense limited Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger to a combined fifteen points. The key in this one besides the win? The return of guard Daniel Hackett, whose worth can't always be seen in the box score. His defense and intangibles are skills that the average fan tends to take for granted, but his return could mean big things throughout the remainder of the regular season and the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tounament in two weeks.

On the clock: Niagara, Rider and Siena. In a wide-open race for the MAAC title, these three all need wins in order to keep up with Loyola (MD), who picked up a win over cellar-dweller Canisius Thursday night. Rider hosts St. Peter's, and Niagara visits Siena.