Their superstar freshman had carried the USC Trojans as far as they could go. Their transfer point guard had kept their pulse alive late, scoring his only 11 points over the final four minutes. But as D’Shawn Schwartz leaped unabated to slam home a missed jumper in the final seconds, USC could only watch.
Its comeback had fallen short. Its Pac-12 tournament pursuit was over in a 72-70 loss to Colorado in Las Vegas.
For USC, it was a familiar script against a familiar foe. Colorado had beaten USC six times in a row before Friday night’s semifinal, and this time was no different.