A few thoughts on USC's surprising advancement to the Sweet 16 of the men's NCAA basketball tournament:
1. Tim Floyd: What does Floyd now have that Pete Carroll doesn't? A victory over Texas.
2. Eerie: In the second half of Sunday's second-round game, Texas scored 41 points -- the same total Vince Young and the Longhorns managed in their 41-38 triumph in the 2006 Rose Bowl game. In that second half, the basketball Trojans countered that with a solution that should have struck the football Trojans -- score 53.
3. Revenge: So, USC fans, does the 87-68 basketball victory over Texas even the ledger with the Longhorns? Was Sunday's triumph enough of a payoff for Jan. 4, 2006? If not, what would be?
Discuss among yourselves.
With UCLA and Oregon joining USC with second-round victories, the Pacific 10 has three teams in the Sweet 16. When did that last happen?
Next up for UCLA is the Ben Howland Invitational -- Thursday's third-round game against Howland's former school, Pittsburgh.
After producing an 89-40 record in five seasons at Pittsburgh, Howland moved to Westwood in 2003 for reasons that basically go without saying.
However, his successor at Pittsburgh, Jamie Dixon, last month offered a different explanation as to why Howland left.
"To be honest, Ben didn't think we could sustain it," Dixon said during an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb. 21. "He took less money to go to another job, what most people would consider a better job.
"I've always seen more in [Pittsburgh] than other people did. I have higher expectations than anybody for this job. I know no one thought we could do what we are doing."
Including the Panthers, whose self-belief was shaken into overtime by Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday as they watched a 19-point lead vanish entirely, requiring an extra period to revive and recover. Pittsburgh ultimately held on for an 84-79 victory.
Pitt stops here
For the fourth time in six seasons, Pittsburgh has advanced to the Sweet 16, where the Panthers historically have had issues.
Some statistics provided by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
* Pittsburgh is one of 12 teams to have reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last six seasons. Nine of those teams made the Elite Eight at least once. Pittsburgh, Gonzaga and Southern Illinois did not.
* Of the 20 winningest basketball programs from BCS conferences, 17 have advanced to the Elite Eight at least once since 2001. Pittsburgh, Boston College and Mississippi State have not.
* Pittsburgh has never won three NCAA tournament games in the same year. UCLA has done it 17 times.
In 2002, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA reached the Sweet 16. Arizona and UCLA lost at that stage; Oregon defeated Texas and advanced to the Elite Eight, where the Ducks lost to Kansas.
Longtime broadcaster Verne Lundquist, covering the NCAA tournament for CBS, once worked for an Austin, Texas, television station owned by Lyndon Johnson.
In a recent e-mail to the Dallas Morning News, Lundquist recalled how he met up again with the former president while conducting a Dallas Cowboys postgame show after the team's victory in the 1971 NFC championship game:
Lundquist: Mr. President, what did you think of the game?
Johnson: Son, I don't have any comment on the game. I just dropped by to tell you that if things don't work out for you in Dallas, we always have a job for you back in Austin.