Are you excited for today’s 1 p.m. tipoff at Pauley Pavilion with Pac-12 title implications?
Who do you like? What’s the score?
I actually covered the last USC team to win a conference title (1985) and it came off two incredible USC-UCLA games, each narrowly won by the Trojans: A double-OT victory at the Sports Arena (78-77) and then a four-OT thriller at Pauley Pavilion (Charlie Simpson with the layup at buzzer!). The USC students stormed the court with brooms to celebrate the sweep and were promptly moved to the upper deck in following seasons.
But if sports gives great memories, it also takes away. And there was only heartbreak in 1974. USC was ranked No. 7. UCLA was No. 3. It was a hotly anticipated game at a sold-out Sports Arena with an 8:40 p.m. tipoff. The winner not only won the Pac-8 title, it received the sole bid to the NCAA Tournament because in those days only the champion went.
USC led 2-0 and it was all downhill after that as the Bruins coasted to an 82-52 victory. UCLA finished 12-2 and USC was 11-3.