Normally, a loss like Friday’s 68-66 thriller to Miami would gnaw at me for a long time.
There’s an awful feeling when you fly somewhere and less than 24 hours later you’re done while other teams keep playing.
But the whole week I kind of expected USC to lose this game. I held my tongue for most of the season while USC racked up victories over powerhouses like Cal State Northridge (7-23); Eastern Kentucky (13-18), Dixie State (13-18), Saint Joseph’s (11-19), Pacific (8-22) and Georgia Tech (12-20).
USC feasted off an awful Pac-12 with six victories over Oregon State (3-28), Utah (11-20) and Cal (12-20).
That’s 12 victories over teams with 18-or-more losses. Nearly half the school-record total of 26 victories.
And yet before the game, it was pointed out that among Power Six teams, USC trails only Kansas and Baylor in total wins over the past 3 seasons. Total wins? Doesn’t it matter who you play?
Before Friday, San Diego State, UCLA and Arizona were the only teams USC played that made the NCAA Tournament.
So losing to Miami is not a shock.
USC had most of its team back and Andy Enfield still had that cream-puff schedule. The big non-conference game that got canceled was against Oklahoma State, who was 15-15 overall.
Next year he will probably seek a worse schedule with several veterans departing.