Oregon may not be playing USC for another six days, but the trash-talking has already begun.
Following an 85-51 win over No. 3-seeded Kansas, USC Trojans forward Isaiah Mobley made a bold statement when asked about playing the Ducks in the Sweet 16.
"They’ve been on a roll," said Mobley per Ryan Kartje of the LA Times. "I don’t want to say necessarily they’ve got luck. They're a good team."
On February 22nd, USC blew out Oregon 72-58 in Los Angeles in the Ducks' third game in five days. With the dominating win, the Trojans controlled its destiny to win the Pac-12 regular-season championship.
USC proceeded to choke, immediately losing two straight games including to a Utah team who did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Oregon then won-out to finish the regular season being proclaimed back-to-back Pac-12 Champions.
Trojans head basketball coach Andy Enfield went as far as to whine about Oregon not playing at UCLA while his players failed to bring home wins.
Then, the two teams could have met in the Pac-12 Tournament Final, but both Oregon and USC lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
While it's hard to see the Ducks giving a meaningful answer when inevitably asked about this bold claim leading up to Sunday, you bet it's already been made bulletin board material.
Oregon was already going to be focused, wanting to remedy last month's loss and go to a third Elite Eight during the Dana Altman era, but you bet there will be a little extra brought now.
Both teams are going to bring the juice on Sunday, March 28th at 6:45 p.m. PT. and there is no love lost, clearly.