It took almost 20 minutes for CBS to make the announcement on its annual selection show, but the USC men’s basketball team finally got word they will be going to the Big Dance after a one-year absence from the NCAA tournament.
The Trojans (19-14), with the benefit of an expanded 68-team tournament format this year, will travel to Dayton, Ohio to take on the VCU Rams (23-11) out of the Colonial Athletic Conference. The game will be played on Wednesday night for the right to be the No. 11 seed in the Southwest Region.
If USC prevails in the play-in game, they will take on the Georgetown Hoyas (21-10) out of the Big East Conference in Chicago, Ill. on Friday.
This is USC’s first tournament appearance under USC coach Kevin O’Neill, who was reinstated by athletic director Pat Haden on Sunday after serving a one-game suspension over the weekend for his involvement in an altercation on Thursday night.
The Trojans last tournament appearance was in 2009, where the team led by then-coach Tim Floyd defeated Boston College 72-55 in the first round, before falling to Michigan State 74-69 in the second round.