In a game that saw each team prematurely celebrating victory within the space of a few seconds, the USC men’s basketball team lost at Rhode Island in overtime tonight, 73-71, after an apparent game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer was waved off when an instant replay showed it was released after time expired. The Trojans had mobbed each other on the court after the shot, only to learn it was no good.
The Trojans only had their last-second chance because Rhode Island’s players stupidly began celebrating on the court after hitting an apparent game-winning shot of their own with 2.2 seconds left. USC took advantage of the Rams’ premature celebration to rush the ball up the court unchallenged, but Desmon Farmer’s shot was just barely too late.
USC coach Henry Bibby complained that Rhode Island should have been assessed a technical foul for its on-the-court celebration after the go-ahead basket with 2.2 seconds to go. Oh, well. But hey, at least UCLA lost, too.
In brighter news for USC fans, the women’s volleyball team — ranked #1 in the country — went to Santa Barbara and swept the #6-ranked Gauchos, 3-0, to finish their reulgar season 24-1. The NCAA Tournament will begin Dec. 5, with the Women of Troy favorites to win the national title.
Nick McAuley has an excellent column in today’s Daily Trojan, in which he explains the various bowl scenarios for the USC football team, including the Trojans’ outside shot at an invitation to the national-championship Fiesta Bowl.
The Trojans need a lot of help to put them in position for a national title, and the scenarios can get a bit complicated. First of all, USC — which is presently #6 in the BCS standings — needs to beat #7 Notre Dame, preferably by a large enough margin to really impress poll voters, this Saturday at 5:00 PM Pacific time.
Beyond that, here are the basics on what needs to happen, and the games USC fans should watch:
#1 Miami (10-0) needs to lose at least once, preferably twice.
The Hurricanes have two games left:
• This Saturday vs. Syracuse (4-7), 10:00 AM Pacific time
• Next Saturday vs. Virginia Tech (8-3), 10:00 AM Pacific time
#3 Oklahoma (10-1) needs to lose at least once.
The Sooners have two games left:
• This Saturday vs. Oklahoma State (6-5), 11:30 AM Pacific time
• Next Saturday vs. #12 Colorado (8-3), 5:00 PM Pacific time
#4 Georgia (10-1) needs to lose at least once.
The Bulldogs have two games left:
• This Saturday vs. Georgia Tech (7-4), 12:30 PM Pacific time
• Next Saturday vs. either LSU (8-3) or Arkansas (8-3), 3:00 PM Pacific time
(The identity of Georgia’s opponent next Saturday will be determined this Friday when LSU plays Arkansas at 11:30 AM Pacific time. Trojan fans should probably root for LSU, which is more highly regarded and probably has a better chance of beating Georgia.)
If all of those things happen, the Trojans are not guaranteed a Fiesta Bowl bid. But they would almost certainly be in the Top 3, along with Ohio State (13-0) and Iowa (11-1), both of whom have already finished their regular seasons. Ohio State would definitely be #1; the Buckeyes are bound for the Fiesta Bowl no matter what. But who would be #2? The one-loss Hawkeyes or the two-loss Trojans? I suspect both the sportswriters’ poll and the coaches’ poll would place Iowa #2 and USC #3. But USC’s strength of schedule — ranked first in the country, compared to Iowa’s rank of 40th — and its strong computer ratings would probably pull it ahead of Iowa in the BCS standings.
Here are a couple of things USC fans should hope for to help boost the Trojans’ statistical chances against Iowa, if it comes to that:
• Colorado beats Nebraska this Friday, 12:30 PM Pacific time
• Notre Dame stays in the BCS Top 10 despite losing to USC this Saturday
• Middle Tennessee State beats Utah State this Saturday, noon Pacific time
• Colorado beats Oklahoma next Saturday, 5:00 PM Pacific time
(Why? Because two Colorado wins should vault the Buffaloes into the Top 10, giving the Trojans “quality win” points for our 40-3 thrashing of Colorado earlier in the season; likewise, if Notre Dame stays in the Top 10, the Trojans will get “quality win” points if we beat the Irish this Saturday; and a Utah State loss would further depress Iowa’s strength of schedule, robbing the Hawkeyes of a few points.)
If this USC-Iowa scenario happened, it would undoubtedly ignite a huge national controversy over the BCS system, just like last year when Nebraska was widely considered an “illegitimate” national-championship contender. Big Ten officials would cry their eyes out, Iowa fans would blame the computers, pundits would protest that a two-loss team shouldn’t beat out a one-loss team for the spot, and much ink would be wasted complaining about it all — but USC would, nonetheless, get a chance to play for the national championship on January 3 against Ohio State. And that’s something to hope for. (Although, in this scenario, if USC won the Fiesta Bowl and Iowa won the Rose Bowl, the sportswriters might award their #1 ranking to Iowa, placing USC at #2 and creating a “split championship.” The coaches’ poll is required to award the #1 ranking to the winner of the BCS championship game, but the Associated Press is not.)
This website received its 7,000th unique hit Monday at 10:05 PM when a CoreComm Internet user found “My world” through a link from RailLinks.com and spent 10 minutes and 59 seconds perusing my photos of my May cross-country train trip.
Then, at 11:10 PM, someone from Susqeahanna University gave the site its unprecendented 1,500th hit this month after finding it through a Yahoo search for the phrase flashing index jpg. Although this somewhat cryptic search term sounds potentially pornographic, the visitor actually stuck around long enough to look at my photos of a train hitting a truck and two photo galleries from this past summer.
Both milestones occurred one day after “My world” set a new record Sunday for most hits in a single day with 98.