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2011 NCAA Bracket Prediction: NY Times Gives USC 3.8% Chance To Reach Sweet 16

The 2011 NCAA Tournament has arrived for the USC Trojans, as they battle the Va. Commonwealth Rams for the right to be the No. 11 seed in the Southwest Region. The two schools play in Dayton, Ohio tonight at 6:10 p.m. PST on truTV, with the winner advancing in the bracket to face Georgetown on Friday at 6:50 p.m. PST in Chicago. USC is between a four-and-a-half and five-point favorite over VCU tonight, per our friends in Las Vegas.

At the New York Times, Nate Silver, the former Baseball Prospectus writer who rose to fame with his "political calculus" Five Thirty Eight election predictions, has projected the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He gives the Trojans a 52.8% chance to beat VCU tonight, a 17.4% chance to advance past Georgetown, and a 3.8% chance to get to the Sweet 16. Not to look too far ahead, but if the Trojans were to beat both VCU and Georgetown, their likely opponent would be No. 3 seed Purdue, who faces St. Peter's in the first round.

For more USC Trojans hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles. For more information on VCU, be sure to read SB Nation DC. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.