The USC Trojans look to end their regular season with a win over the Washington Huskies, in hopes of securing the fourth seed of next week's Pac-10 Tournament. The Trojans also need a win today to have a winning record in Pac-10 play for the first time since 2007-2008. However, several wins were vacated due to the O.J. Mayo recruiting violations, so technically it would be the first time since 2006-2007 that USC had a winning record in conference play.
Nikola Vucevic is enjoying a fine season for the Trojans. The junior forward from Montenegro is averaging 17.6 points and 10.3 rebounds this season, and has averaged 19.5 points and 10.8 boards in conference play. Vucevic has a conference-leading 19 double-doubles this season, including one in each of his last seven games. He had a career-high 28 points, and 14 rebounds, against Washington on December 29.
The Huskies have a solid inside-out combination with guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Matt Bryan-Amaning. Thomas leads the team in scoring at 16.6 points per game, while Bryan-Amaning averages 16.2 points and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds per contest. USC lost to Washington 73-67 in overtime on December 29 at Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Here are tonight's probable starting lineups:
USC (17-13, 9-8)
- Guard: Jio Fontan
- Guard: Donte Smith
- Guard: Marcus Simmons
- Forward: Alex Stepheson
Forward: Nikola Vucevic
Washington (20-9, 11-6)
Guard: Isaiah Thomas
Guard: C.J. Wilcox
Forward: Matt Bryan-Amaning
Forward: Justin Holliday
Forward: Aziz N'Diaye
USC has won five of its last seven games. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Fox Sports West. Rocky IV alumnus Barry Tompkins will call the play-by-play, with White Men Can't Jump co-starproviding analysis. Rebecca Haarlow is the sideline reporter.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.