Trojans Define March Madness USC comes back from 17 down to win its first NCAA Tournament game since 2009.

On Wednesday night, USC took on Providence in an NCAA First Four matchup at UD Arena in Dayton, OH.

The two teams — No. 11 seeds this year — also matched up last season, with Providence stealing a one-point win at the last second in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In front of a crowd of more than 11,000, the Trojans came out of the gates strong to take a 7-0 lead.

But the Friars found their footing and started hitting shots to take the lead.

Providence nailed eight 3-pointers in the first half to create a 15-point advantage at the break, a point at which many viewers counted the Trojans out.

Coming out of halftime, Providence made a quick bucket to extend its lead to 17.

That's when the Trojans dug in and went on an 8-0 run to put pressure on the Friars.

A three from Bennie Boarwright cut the deficit to single digits for the first time since 3:40 remaining in the first half.

On the sport's biggest stage, freshman Nick Rakocevic became the next Trojan to step up.

The forward racked up 7 quick points and a steal that led to Chimezie Metu's go-ahead jumper.

Playing in front of family who traveled from Chicago to Dayton, Rakocevic earned MVP praise from a number of media members.

Once the Trojans took a 61-60 lead, they didn't look back.

Junior point guard Jordan McLaughlin was key in keeping the Trojans ahead down the stretch, finishing with 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Boatwright's career-high 24 points were also crucial in sealing the win for USC — its 25th of the season, which ties a program record.

Fellow sophomore Chimezie Metu finished with 15 points and 8 boards.

Put on the spot as time wound down, finished with a game-high 9 made free throws and posted 2 crucial blocks.

When all was said and done, USC pulled off a 75-71 victory — its 12th comeback of 10 or more points this year (most of any D-I school).

In erasing a 17-point deficit, the Trojans mounted the seventh-biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history, and the second-biggest second-half comeback on the books.

Check out all the highlights of USC's victory!

After the game, the Trojans flew straight to Tulsa, where they'll take on No. 6 seed SMU tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. PT.

The game will be broadcast on TruTV.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.