(East Los Angeles, CA) March 26, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: Let’s clearly say that the PAC-12 has risen to new heights with the selection of five of its teams to participate in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Trivia question…since the formation of the PAC-12, is this the most number of teams ever to play in the “March Madness” Tournament? And now we move to bring you the great news that the USC Trojans, and/or “Men of Troy” continue their stellar play as members of the “Sweet 16.” Unfortunately, the bracket makers put them in the West Region and due to that, they will now take on their fellow PAC-12 member school, the Oregon Ducks. Nonetheless, the Trojans and the Ducks can make the claim that they made their way onto the biggest media stage in American sports…the annual NCAA Men’s D-1 Basketball Tournament. The Trojans, are expected to come out “fired up and ready to go” in this weekend’s match-up.
The Trojans, now (24-7 with a 2nd place finish in the PAC-12) are led by their outstanding “Twin-Tower” brother combo of Freshman Center, #4 Evan, 7-0, and Sophomore Forward, #3 Isaiah Mobley, 6-10. They are one of the biggest reasons that Head Coach Andy Enfield is right where he should be in his hunt for the National Championship, as well as his return to the similar run to the Sweet 16, he made in 2013 with Florida Gulf Coast, when he turned heads with his finish in that tournament. You can just hear the Trojan recruiters describing the Brothers Mobley to Coach Enfield as legitimate, and dominant “big men” who excel with numerous skills not commonly seen.
Photo Gallery Credit: NCAA / Getty
*(Click just above caption to see rest of gallery)
So, let’s get down to their success in the tourney thus far. In their opening game, the#6 seed Trojans took care of business with stellar team, and prominent post play, evidenced by the Mosley Bros. as they easily powered their way past the Drake Bulldogs (72-56). Drake won their First-Four game in an upset against the Wichita State Shockers (53-52).
Then, last Monday, 3/22, in a stunning and eye-brow raising Round 2 performance, they demolished the #3 seed Kansas Jayhawks and unequivocally dispelled the myth that they were an unbeatable SEC team, especially by a West Coast team representing the PAC-12 Conference. Kansas was mercilessly shown the exit door to the “Big Dance” for the whole country to witness. The huge 34 point “Blow-Out” win gave the Trojans an historical program note when they notched their 5th All-Time “Sweet 16” appearance. They also were given credit for making their 18th appearance in the “Big Dance”. The Final score in this lop-sided match-up was USC 85, Kansas 51.
Now, let’s bring everyone up to speed with our summary of their first two games.
In the Drake match-up, the Trojans were led by their Towers of Powers, the Mobley Brothers as the most dominant team stat signified the ease by which the Trojans never were threatened in this contest. In looking at the “points-in-the-paint” category it was a whopping (42-16) advantage for Troy. That was basically the end of the discussion. Bench and fast-break points were the other categories that spelled the loss for the Bulldogs. Cap it off with 50% field goal shooting, a 33.3% – 3PtA (6-18), and Coach Enfield rewarded his 12 players the realization of that March Madness dream of playing in the tournament.
Stat-Line: Evan Mobley/17 pts/11 reb/2 asst/3 blks/38 min; Isaiah Mobley/15 pts/5 reb/2 asst/1 blk/23 mins; Drew Peterson/14 pts/2 reb/2 asst/28 min; Tahj Eaddy/9 pts/6 reb/10 asst/1 stl/33 min; Isaiah White/4 pts/3 reb/1 blk/2 stl/21 min.
Against the Jayhawks, before you could get out your scoresheet, the Trojans had dropped bombs on their opponents. Shell shocked, dazed or however you wanted to describe the Jayhawks, they were reeling from head-to-toe by the bombardment of 3 pointers and powerful post play. The dominant and combined stats for the Mobleys, produced the following stat-line: (27) points, (21) rebounds, (9) assists, and (4) blocks. The plain truth of this game was the determination of the Trojans to outclass their opponent in most categories of play. The Trojans shot incredibly well from the regular FG range (.57%) and topped that off with a whopping (.61 %) from beyond the arc. They also out rebounded the Jayhawks by a margin of (43-27).
Stat-line: Evan Mobley/*Double-Double/10 pts/13 reb/5 asst/3 blks/1 stl/27 mins; Isaiah Mobley/17 pts/4-5 (3 ptrs)/8 reb/4 asst/1 blk/31 min; Thai Eaddy/12 pts/4 reb/3 asst/27 min; Isaiah White/13 pts/3-4 (3 ptrs)/1 asst/21 min; Chevez Goodwin/10 pts/(4-4 FG)/2 reb/15 min; Drew Peterson/5 pts/8 reb/1 stl/34 min; Ethan Anderson/9 pts (4-5 FG)/1 reb/1 asst/18 min.
Next Up: The “Sweet 16” Match Up with the Oregon Ducks, Sunday, March 28th, 9:45 pm (PT) on TBS. This game will immediately follow the Bruins vs. Alabama game. The game will also be “Live Streamed” on the following outlets, March Madness Live, or through Paramount+ and WatchTBS. To get more info on the NCAA’s streaming and schedules, click here .
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