USC's men's basketball program was going nowhere last week, but the Trojans will take a huge step toward respectability today...

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LOS ANGELES — USC’s men’s basketball program was going nowhere last week, but the Trojans will take a huge step toward respectability today.

Rick Majerus, who coached Utah for 15 years and reached the NCAA championship game in 1998, is expected to finalize negotiations with USC and be introduced this afternoon as the Trojans’ coach.

Interim coach Jim Saia will continue to coach the Trojans (3-3) for the rest of this season in place of Henry Bibby, who was fired Dec. 6.

But Saia essentially is finishing out the string with a senior-heavy team before Majerus takes over next season.

Majerus resigned at Utah in January after he was hospitalized with chest pains a little more than 14 years after he had heart-bypass surgery.

Majerus, 56, could not be reached for comment yesterday, and USC administrators refused to confirm that he would be hired today.

Top 25 women’s game

No. 1 Louisiana State 75, at No. 13 Minnesota 67

Seimone Augustus scored 22 points to lead the top-ranked Tigers (9-0) past the Gophers (8-2) in a matchup of Final Four teams from last season.

Top 25 men’s games

At No. 7 Duke 88, Illinois-Chicago 55

Shelden Williams had 23 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the Blue Devils over the Flames.

Duke shot 49 percent and used a 21-0 run spanning halftime to turn the game into a rout, holding the Flames (3-4) to one field goal over a 7-1/2-minute span.

At No. 13 Louisville 85, N. Carolina A&T 51

Larry O’Bannon scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (6-1) to their fifth straight win.

Sean Booker had 19 points for North Carolina A&T (1-8).

Pac-10 men’s game

At Oregon 73, Bethune-Cookman 65

Freshmen Bryce Taylor and Malik Hairston combined for 35 points to lead the Ducks over the Wildcats (3-4).

Taylor had 18 and Hairston 17.

Aaron Brooks, a product of Franklin High School, had 11 points and seven assists for the Ducks (5-1).


• Memphis forward Sean Banks was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Coach John Calipari did not provide further information about the violation.

• A former junior-college coach was indicted on charges that he provided false academic information about his athletes to Division I schools looking to recruit the players.

The indictment also charges Ryan Wolf, former coach at Barton County Community College (Kan.), with getting his players grants they were not qualified to receive and campus jobs that paid them for work they did not perform.

Wolf is charged with misappropriating more than $120,000.