After a relatively easy dispatch of ninth-seeded Arizona 78-65 Wednesday in the opening game of the Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball tourney in Las Vegas, eighth-seeded USC draws No. 1 seeded Washington at noon Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup. The Huskies beat the Trojans 75-62 in the teams’ only meeting Jan. 30 at Hec Ed.
All-conference forward Bennie Boatwright had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Trojans (16-16) over the beleaguered Wildcats (
17-15), who, if they choose to skip lesser tournaments, will be out of the postseason for the first time since Lute Olson’s first season in 1983-84. A year ago, the teams met in the conference title game.
Arizona, still tangled in a recruiting scandal prompted by an FBI investigation, missed 17 of 22 three-point attempts. It lost nine its final 10 games. Prior to Wednesday, the Trojans had lost four in a row and seven of nine.
In the regular-season meeting, Noah Dickerson had 21 points 14 rebounds as Washington led wire to wire. Matisse Thybulle had 17 points and seven steals, David Crisp had 15 points and Jaylen Nowell 12.
Boatwright led USC with 22 points and Nick Rakocevic added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Trojans committed 18 turnovers and were out-rebounded 40-28 despite a size advantage.