USC guard Bennie Boatwright kept the Trojans in the game in the first half, and helped them storm back from a 17-point deficit in the second, as USC escaped Providence on Wednesday in the First Four, 75-71.
It was the seventh biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
Boatwright finished with 24 points, while Jordan McLaughlin added 18 points. No. 11 USC advances to play No. 6 SMU, which it beat earlier this season, in the first round.
"We believe in ourselves, so we feel like we could come back against anybody," Boatwright said.
USC struck revenge against the Friars after losing in the first round to Providence last season.