The Mustangs open up the tourney vs. the USC Trojans.
This year, the No. 6-seeded SMU Mustangs are 30-4 with an American conference title to their credit.
SMU has had many ups and downs over the last couple seasons, including being the last undefeated team of 2015-16, and losing on a heartbreaking goaltending call at the buzzer in the 2015 NCAA tournament.
This is a team that became accustomed to talking about everything other than basketball over the last three years. While Larry Brown quietly lifted a dormant program to national prominence, the headlines off the court always seemed to overshadow what was happening on it.
There was Emmanuel Mudiay’s last minute decision to renege on his college commitment and play professionally in China. There was the program-shaking academic scandal tied to former guard Keith Frazier that led to a harsh one-year postseason ban. Finally, there was the swift retirement of Brown last summer just when it seemed like the team was finally out of the dark.
How to watch
Time: 3:10 p.m. ET, Friday.
Live stream: You can live stream it here.
SMU is a No. 6 seed, but it’s more talented than that seed indicates.
The Ponies boast pretty good length in the backcourt for a college team and they shoot the three pretty well. If you’re looking for an extremely dark horse to make a Final Four run, maybe zig where others are zagging and take SMU.
Standing in the way of a miracle run by the Mustangs will be the No. 11 USC Trojans, who overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat No. 11 Providence, which marked the seventh-biggest comeback ever.
Coach Andy Enfield made his bones with the Dunk City Florida Gulf Coast squad a few years ago, and finessed that job into the head coaching role at USC. He’s gotten the Trojans humming after the First Four win over Providence. The Trojans come into this game with a 25-9 record. The 6’10 Bennie Boatwright should be an interesting matchup to watch against an SMU team that doesn’t have anyone logging minutes taller than 6’8.