All this animosity will stop next year in the NBA, assured a former rival at North Carolina, Rashad McCants, who is now with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"When he gets here, nobody's going to care," McCants said. "Nobody's going to boo or do anything. He's just going to be a rookie."
STANFORD 58, USC 56
A questionable call decided the game. A post-game brawl erupted immediately afterward. Players, security personnel and even a team manager took part in the scuffle.
There wasn't much at stake for USC against Stanford because the Trojans already clinched sixth place, but there was not a more emotional finish this season than Thursday night's 58-56 loss to the Cardinal in front of 5,120 at Maples Pavilion.
Everything transpired in the final seven seconds with the score tied 56-56. That's when Stanford point guard Chris Hernandez drove toward the baseline, tripped and desperately tried to grab the loose ball while on the ground.
It turned out Hernandez did not need to worry. In a delayed call, referee Deron White whistled USC guard Gabe Pruitt for a blocking foul on the play. That allowed Hernandez to make two free throws with four seconds left.
USC point guard Ryan Francis banked a running 17-foot shot in-and-out off the backboard as time expired and that's when the melee started.
An incensed USC coach Tim Floyd followed White off the court and Floyd got bumped by a Stanford security guard. After that, USC players came over to assist Floyd and a melee broke out between players and security personnel.
Even team manager Rob Brooks got into the act, taking on a cardinal-clad security guard by the team bench.
"A security guard bumped coach Floyd," USC forward Greg Gaudino said. "It got really bad, really quick. It was stupid and unnecessary."
USC guard Lodrick Stewart, who thought the cardinal-coat wearing security personnel were fans, went over to protect Floyd.
"The fans came at coach Floyd," Stewart said. "There was shoving and I got in and broke it up.
"I didn't want it to get blown up. That was a bad call. They should let the teams decide it."
Floyd had little to say about the incident or the call that led him to follow White, who is from Santa Clarita, off the court.
"I just told the official what I thought and left," Floyd said. "I can't comment on it. I came to the bench. I went to the locker room. They won't let me comment on it."
The Pacific-10 Conference forbids coaches from criticizing officials. Players are free to express their opinion, however.
"I thought [Hernandez] flopped," Pruitt said. "I didn't touch him. He bulldozed me. I guess they don't see it the same way. He tried to run me over. That's what he does. I thought the whistle was late. It's a pretty tough loss."
The foul and post-game incident overshadowed Pruitt's first game since he fractured his knee on Feb. 6. He scored 13 points and made four 3-pointers.
USC's other top player, Nick Young, struggled and scored just 10 points (none in the first half), his second-lowest output of the season. He made just four of 15 shots and often tried to force his way inside instead of taking an open outside shot.