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Cal v. USC Open Thread

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Cal takes on USC for the 3rd time tonight. Here is the broadcast information:

California Golden Bears (22-9, 11-7) vs. USC Trojans (18-12, 9-9)
Thursday, March 12, 6 p.m. PT, Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Fox SportsNet

And here is the official preview:

USC Scouting Report
A Look at USC

USC locked up the sixth seed in the Pac-10 Tournament with a victory over Oregon State last Saturday to cap off a two-win weekend for the Trojans. Before the two wins over the Oregon schools last weekend, the Trojans lost to Cal and Stanford in Northern California the weekend before. Taj Gibson leads USC in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.4 ppg and 9.3 rpg.

Cal-USC Series History
The Bears and Trojans have split the season series the past two years, with the home team winning each contest. Cal knocked off then-No. 22 USC in the 2007-08 Pac-10 opener, 82-72. Patrick Christopher led the Bears with 24 points, while Jerome Randle collected 16. The Trojans got even in Los Angeles later in the year, prevailing 93-89 in overtime. The teams met in overtime again this season, with Cal winning, 81-78 in overtime on Feb. 26 at Haas Pavilion, following its road loss Jan. 31 at USC 73-62. Cal leads the all-time series, 126-117.

USC Head Coach Tim Floyd
Tim Floyd is in his fourth season at USC and 21st season of head coaching at the collegiate and NBA levels. In 2007-08, he led USC to a 21-12 record and into the NCAA Tournament after finishing tied for third in the Pac-10 with an 11-7 record.

At this point, Cal is playing for seeding. Win a few games here and Cal is a 6 seed. Lose here and Cal could find itself as an 8 seed. USC is playing for its NCAA life. That favors USC. It's also being played in LA, where USC beat Cal already. That favors USC.

All the signs here seem to point towards USC. But, hey, you never know. Cal got embarrassed on national TV last time out, so they might want to put that ugliness behind them with a key victory over a tough USC team. This is, after all, why they play the games, right? GO BEARS!