Sunday evening, the Trojans took on the Baylor Bears in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, aiming to become the fourth team to advance from the First Four to the Sweet 16.
USC, playing its third game in five days, struggled with Baylor's press defense out of the gates, and trailed by 10 points late in the first half.
But Chimezie Metu went on a personal 5-0 run to close out the half and send the Trojans into the break down 36-31.
The Trojans knew the game was within reach, as they'd overcome larger halftime deficits in their two prior Tournament wins (8 pts vs. SMU and 15 pts vs. Providence).
The Trojans came out of halftime with a familiar energy and tied the game up after just over a minute of action, beginning what would turn into a back-and-forth battle with the Bears.
The Trojans opened up a 4-point lead when Elijah Stewart converted a free throw after a two-hand jam, and tried their best to hold onto it down the stretch.
But Baylor guard Manu Lecomte got hot and fueled a Baylor comeback that put the Bears on top, 82-78, when the final buzzer sounded.
Catch all the highlights of the exciting game here!
Metu hit a shot just before the buzzer to give him a game-high 28 points on the night.
He finished the season averaging 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Bennie Boatwright added 16 points, improving his season average to 15.1 PPG, which led the Trojans this year.
USC's two juniors finished the game in double figures as well.
Elijah Stewart posted 12 points and 3 rebounds, while Jordan McLaughlin had 11 points and 6 assists.
With the loss, USC finished the 2016-17 season at 26-10.
The Trojans set a new program record with 26 wins, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.
The future is bright for these Trojans, who lose seniors Charles Buggs and Sam Dhillon, but welcome a few talented new faces to the Galen Center this year.