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(180) 1997 UCLA - 28
The high powered UCLA offense (QB Cade McNown, RB Skip Hicks, WR Freddie Mitchell) couldn't get enough help from their defense as the Bruins fell to 1993 Notre Dame.
(308) 1996 Alabama - 18
(52) 2002 USC - 27
Freshman running back Shaun Alexander's big day wasn't enough to beat the Trojans.
(77) 1993 Notre Dame - 24
(52) 2002 USC - 28
The final in Bracket 52 added another chapter to the USC/Notre Dame rivalry, and featured a classic coaching matchup of Lou Holtz vs Pete Carroll.
It was a back and forth game with each team contributing its share of offensive highlights. Notre Dame quarterback Kevin McDougal threw two touchdown passes, one to Derrick Mayes and the other to Lake Dawson, and ran for another on his way to posting 263 yards of total offense.
But it was Carson Palmer who came up big in the fourth quarter when USC needed him. The senior threw for 323 yards on the day, and his fourth touchdown pass of the game came in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. His favorite target, Mike Williams, went up in traffic and made a spectacular one-handed grab for the win.
2002 USC (#52 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Trojans will face the winner of Bracket 13 in the first round.