WASHINGTON — 11-seed USC knocked off six-seed SMU Friday, swinging an upset in the game’s closing seconds.
The Mustangs led nearly the entire game, only to relinquish the lead with 36 seconds remaining when Elijah Stewart made a three-pointer to put the Trojans up 66-65.
After a missed USC free throw, SMU regained possession with 13 seconds on the clock, just enough to get down the court and set up a potential game-winning shot. But, you wouldn’t know it by the way SMU handled the ball, casually passing it around behind the three-point line after crossing half court.
SMU guard Shake Milton finally saw his opening with the final three seconds ticking away, but, unable to get a clean shot, tossed up an ill-advised layup which clanked off the rim.
It was a massive upset, thanks in part to USC entering the tournament as a First Four play-in participant. According to ESPN, 81.7 percent of its tournament challenge participants had SMU advancing to the Round of 32.