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ASU men’s basketball to face USC to begin Pac-12 tournament

Junior guard Gerry Blakes stands formidably against the USC offense on Feb. 22, 2015, at the Wells Fargo Arena. The strong defense by Blakes and the entire Sun Devil team along with keen with a offense would lead the Sun Devils to a 64-59 victory over the Trojans. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)
Junior guard Gerry Blakes stands formidably against the USC offense on Feb. 22, 2015, at the Wells Fargo Arena. The strong defense by Blakes and the entire Sun Devil team along with keen with a offense would lead the Sun Devils to a 64-59 victory over the Trojans. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)

Junior guard Gerry Blakes stands formidably against the USC offense on Feb. 22, 2015, at the Wells Fargo Arena. The strong defense by Blakes and the entire Sun Devil team along with keen with a offense would lead the Sun Devils to a 64-59 victory over the Trojans. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press) Junior guard Gerry Blakes stands formidably against the USC offense on Feb. 22, 2015, at the Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils won 64-59 and will play USC again in the Pac-12 tournament. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)

The ASU men’s basketball team will open the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament against USC on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

ASU (17-14, 9-9 Pac-12) earned the No. 5 seed, while the Trojans (11-19, 3-15) finished last in the conference. The Sun Devils won the teams’ only matchup of the season, winning 64-59 in February.

ASU didn’t play well in that game, trailing by as many as 10 in the second half, despite USC sending home guards Katin Reinhardt, Chass Bryan and Devon Pflueger.

Of the three players, only Reinhardt averages at least 10 minutes per game, and all three have returned to play since. Reinhardt led USC in scoring per game in the regular season, averaging 12.4 points.

If ASU wins on Wednesday, it advances to face No. 4 seed UCLA (19-12, 11-7) on Thursday, also at 2:30 p.m. ASU defeated UCLA 68-66 at home earlier this season.

The Trojans and Bruins last played on March 4, effectively giving them a week off before the conference tournament.

If the Sun Devils advance to the semifinals, they would likely face No. 1 seed Arizona (28-3, 16-2), another team they already beat.

All games the Sun Devils could be involved in are on Pac-12 Networks except for the championship, which is at 8 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN.

Reach the sports editor at jmjanss1@asu.edu or follow @jjanssen11 on Twitter.

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