Chevez Goodwin #1 of the Trojans basketball team plays in the second half of the second round of the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the 22nd. March 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The only surprise? His Trojans dismantled third-seeded Kansas.
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Isaiah Mobley hit four three-pointers and scored 17 points, his older brother Evan added 10 points and 13 rebounds, and sixth-seeded USC cruised to an 85-51 victory Monday night in Hinkle Fieldhouse – more than double the Jayhawks’ worst win in 49 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Isaiah White added 13 points and Tahj Eddy 12 for the Trojans (24-7), who maintained their Pac-12 Tournament charm by reaching their fourth Sweet 16. Next weekend they will take on rival Oregon.
Enfield, entering the second weekend of 2013 with the 15th seeded Florida Gulf Coast Kingdom, had plenty of time to enjoy it. The Trojans jumped out to a 29-21 lead, went on an 11-0 run to end the first half and played the final 20 minutes.
USC made 11 of 18 field goals, shot 57.1 percent from the field and nearly doubled the Jayhawks’ field goal percentage.
Marcus Garrett scored 15 points for Kansas (21-9), which has never lost an NCAA Tournament game by more than 16 points.
The Jayhawks, a basketball program with a rich tradition, have played nearly 3,200 games without ever setting foot on the floor of Hinkle Fieldhouse, the basketball cathedral made famous by the Hollywood Hoosiers.
The way they were Monday night, it must have been intentional.
The Jayhawks missed their first eight shots, most of which were wide open. And after Christian Brown finally hit a three-pointer, they missed another. In a few rounds, they were on their way to a score in the 40s.
On the other end, the Trojans looked the same as they did before the game, as Kansas continued to collapse on defense.
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In a sequence that perfectly summed up the first half, Braun – a free throw shooter who missed 81 percent – missed by two points and Isaiah Mobley followed with a deep 3-pointer as the shots expired. When the teams went the other way again, Kansas coach Bill Self crossed his legs and leaned back in his folding chair – a picture of frustration and resignation.
Four goals in the first half from Mobley, who doubled his career high, gave the Trojans a 40-21 lead at halftime.
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Wilt Chamberlain would not have changed anything that night.
Kansas cut the deficit to 16 points early in the second half, but Anfield immediately called a timeout and the momentum was gone. White hit three three-pointers in a three-minute span and Drew Peterson also scored one, extending the Trojans’ lead to 20 points and deciding the game.
Southern California continued its run in the Pac-12 pennant tournament, which is now 9-1 with four of the five teams reaching the Sweet 16. The only team to lose was Colorado, which defeated the Trojans in the conference tournament.
Kansas hoped the return of Jalen Wilson, who flew early from KOVID-19 quarantine to Indianapolis, would provide a spark. But the Jayhawks’ best rebounder was as ineffective as any against the Trojans’ big forward line. Kansas outscored them 43-27 on the scoreboard.
The Trojans will take on seventh-seeded Oregon, which defeated second-seeded Iowa in the Pac-12 finals, for a spot in the West Region finals. USC defeated the Ducks in February in their only meeting of the season.
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