College Hoops

USC Men’s Basketball Falls To Michigan State In NCAA Tournament First Round, 72-62

USC Men's Basketball Falls To Michigan State In NCAA Tournament First Round, 72-62

Joshua Morgan scored a team-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and five rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as 10-seed USC men’s basketball fell to seven-seed Michigan State, 72-62, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio on Friday.

Kobe Johnson finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Drew Peterson had 11 points and seven rebounds in his final game at USC. Reese Dixon-Waters scored 10 and grabbed four boards.

The Trojans ended the season at 22-11 (14-6 Pac-12. USC has won a school-record 95 games over the last four seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021, 26 in 2022 and 22 in 2023) under coach Andy Enfield. The four consecutive seasons of 20+ wins sets a school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons, breaking the mark of three consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins from 2016-18.

USC will lose captains Peterson and Boogie Ellis next season but will welcome the 10th-ranked recruiting class next year that includes top-rated signee and Naismith High School Player of the Year winner Isaiah Collier.

Michigan State controlled the game early with a 9-2 run while USC made just three of its first 12 shots. The Spartans led by 11 points midway in the first half, but Morgan’s eight consecutive baskets led a 15-4 run that tied the game.

The first half ended at a frenetic pace, as Johnson hit a 3-pointer to give USC its first lead at the 1:43 mark. A.J. Hoggard made a layup for Michigan State before Reese-Dixon Waters hit another 3-pointer for USC. Hoggard made a jumper in the closing seconds to tie the game at halftime.

The second half started similarly to the first period. The Spartans pulled away on an 8-0 run while the Trojans missed six of their first eight shots. Dunks from Johnson and Morgan gave the Trojans a slight boost, but USC went scoreless for over five minutes while Michigan State built its lead to 15 points on a 13-2 run.

Johnson made back-to-back 3-pointers to bring USC back…

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