I have to give USC a lot of credit. They came out with more intensity and dominated the first part of the half pretty decisively, going up by as much as 11. And when we pulled to within 3 they went on another run. Considering how hard (and skillfully) they were playing, I'm modestly encouraged to be down by "only" 5 at the half. But it will take the kind of lock-down defense the Bruins showed at times last night to win this thing.
Of course USC has nothing to lose and (maybe) everything to gain by winning tonight. It just might give them a chance to get to the NCAA Tournament, whereas the Bruins are already in, though hardly guaranteed a good seed.
Arizona State, which has beaten UCLA twice this year, was impressive in beating Washington, the champion after league play, in the first game. This is shaping up to be a terrific tournament.