Bruins, Trojans and Gauchos Get Invite - NBC Southern California

Bruins, Trojans and Gauchos Get Invite

Three Southern California teams are headed to the expanded NCAA tournament



    Bruins, Trojans and Gauchos Get Invite

    The NCAA men's basketball tournament expanded to 68 teams this season, and USC could not be happier.

    The Trojans became one of the first beneficiaries of the  expansion when they became one of the  final four teams selected Sunday for the field. The Trojans (19-14) will play Virginia Commonwealth (23-11) Wednesday in  one of "First Four'' games in Dayton, Ohio.

    If the Trojans win, they would  face sixth-seeded Georgetown Friday in Chicago in a Southwest Regional game.

    "Whoever got the field expanded to 68, we thank them very much," said  USC coach Kevin O'Neill.

    Under the tournament's revised format, the last four at-large teams  selected play in First Four games in Dayton Tuesday and Wednesday, as do the  four lowest-ranked automatic qualifiers.

    As for UCLA, the 22-10 Bruins enter as the No. 7 seed in the Southeast Regional. They'll face 10th-seeded Michigan State (19-14) Thursday in Tampa, Fla.

    UCLA and USC are both returning to the tournament after one-year absences.

    UC Santa Barbara earned a trip to the tournament by beating Long Beach State, 64-56, in the championship game of the Big West Tournament at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Gauchos play No. 2 seed Florida Thursday.

    Pairings for the NCAA women's tournament are scheduled to be announced  Monday.