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USC suffers a great injustice


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dan Rosen

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 26, 2000
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Let's all say it together - the USC Trojans got hosed this week. They not only beat the No. 2 team in the nation on Saturday night, they also controlled the sure-fire Pac-10 player of the year to date, Eddie House from Arizona State on Thursday night to beat the Sun Devils.

Before the two wins over the Arizona schools, they beat arch-rival UCLA by 12 and went on the road and defeated both of the Washington schools as well.

That's five straight Pac-10 wins.

Before the conference season had even started, they won two games in a row.

That's seven straight wins, a 12-5 record and an undefeated conference record, which means they are first place in the Pac-10.

Despite all the success that Henry Bibby's squad has seen, they still don't get any of the - yes, I'm going to say it - R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

According to the so-called experts who vote in the ESPN/USA Today weekly Top 25 poll, the Trojans are tied for fourth in the conference with Oregon and not good enough to break into the poll.

Of course, these polls take into account strength of schedule, whom the team has beaten and what they believe the future holds for the team.

That is why, even after losing to the Trojans, the Wildcats are still in the top five at No. 4 and Stanford, despite losing to a team that is ranked below them, is No. 2 in the nation.

Apparently, though, these voters believe that UCLA is the 20th best team in the nation. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't UCLA lose to USC? Didn't UCLA also lose to Arizona, who then lost to USC? Oh, didn't UCLA lose to Gonzaga, Colorado State and Washington as well?

If you don't know by now, the answer to all these question is yes.

The Bruins have a lot of talent, but they are not No. 20.

Yes, the Trojans have lost to a couple of cup cakes also - Utah State, Long Beach State and St. Bonaventure. The Trojans other two losses were against North Carolina and Duke.

But they haven't lost since Dec. 20, while the Bruins have lost three games since Jan. 6.

If the voters do believe that UCLA is No. 20, then how can they say that USC is not better than that. If beating Arizona by eight without Sam Clancy, their top scorer and rebounder and Jarvis Tuner, their top reserve, isn't good enough to be in the nation's top 25, then what is good enough?

Do the math, and look at the results folks - the Trojans should be ranked.

When was the last time the current first-place team in the Pac-10 wasn't ranked in the top 25?

At least the Associated Press got it right - they have USC at No. 23, and UCLA is unranked.

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