The bubble news keeps getting better for USC within the Pac-12. The Trojans have taken care of business in their last two games by beating Arizona State and UCLA. USC did not play on Saturday, since a rivalry game week is just a one-game week for Pac-12 basketball teams. There is no second game of a homestand to play.
While USC sat on its couch and rested from the emotional win over UCLA, its main competitors on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament both lost by large margins.
Arizona State was shredded by 17 points at Washington State, 75-58, and Utah got clobbered again by Oregon, 68-56.
Arizona State has lost four straight games - two last week to the Los Angeles schools at home, now two straight to the Washington schools on the road.
As a point of contrast, USC has won at Washington and Utah won at Washington State. Arizona State, which had a better NCAA Tournament resume than USC heading into this week, is now well behind the Trojans if we are comparing the two teams as bubble contenders for an at-large bid. USC is well inside the field at the moment, probably at a No. 10 seed and possibly higher. Arizona State is not one of the last four teams in the field, and it probably isn't even one of the first four teams out. "Next four out" or just outside the next four out is probably where the Sun Devils reside after a fourth straight loss.
Ducks Wire reacted to Utah's loss at Oregon. The Utes are now 2-23 against Dana Altman-coached Oregon teams, which is your crazy Pac-12 basketball fact of the day:
"Fortunately for Duck fans who still have hopes of watching this team play in the NCAA Tournament, Oregon turned in yet another impressive victory, sweeping the season series over Utah, the No. 2 team in the Pac-12," Ducks Wire editor Zachary Neel wrote.
"It was not an impressive night for Utah, however, who shot 28% from the floor and lost the rebounding battle 41-32 to Oregon. In the end, the good version of the Ducks showed up and was able to get an important win at home, keeping their hopes for a late winter run into tournament play."
Utah is probably at or slightly below Arizona State's position relative to the bubble. Both the Utes and Sun Devils have a lot of work to do. USC has work to do as well, but the Trojans have much more margin for error than Utah or ASU.
Utah's next two games are a homestand against Stanford next Thursday (February 2), then Cal on the weekend.
Arizona State's next two games are a homestand against Oregon State on Feb. 2, then Oregon on the weekend.
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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire