Thursday’s UCLA-USC showdown is more than just a Pac-12 conference clash between crosstown rivals. The meeting between the Bruins and Trojans could shake things up in the latest bracket projections.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi highlighted the importance of the UCLA-USC game in his Thursday pregame Bracketology update shared on Twitter.

“Game of the night from a Bracketology perspective, as a UCLA win lifts the Bruins to a 1-seed and drops USC – our current LAST TEAM IN – back out of the projected field,” Lunardi wrote.

The teams previously met on Jan. 5. UCLA let an 18-point slip away, but rallied in the final seconds to avoid the USC upset and come away with a 60-58 win.

For both teams, it’s the first “Round 2” against a conference opponent in the 2022-23 season. UCLA looks to bounce back from a 58-52 loss to Arizona, just the Bruins’ third defeat of the season. USC has won 3 of its last 4, defeating Arizona State 77-69 last time out.