USC vs. Arizona Pick NCAA Basketball – Feb 14th

What a fantastic day of college hoops yesterday! Duke’s thrilling last-second win courtesy of Grayson Allen’s controversial walk-off winner (my vote, he walked AND was fouled, so it’s all good) was the highlight, but by no means was it the only big game. Kentucky and LSU took big steps towards winning the SEC with wins over fellow top-of-the-standings South Carolina and Texas A&M. Meanwhile, Alabama’s upset over Florida knocked the Gators all but out of the SEC race as well. The ACC saw Notre Dame take a big step back into contention, moving to 9-4 with a nice win over Louisville, and the Big Twelve may once again reside where it always does after Kansas’s thrilling late surge in Oklahoma.

My four game unbeaten run in college hoops came up a possession short last night and Gonzaga failed to capitalize on a huge opportunity to add a quality win to the tragically deficient total last night at SMU. It was Gonzaga’s six loss on the season, but their first by more than five points. Bad night to have their worst night, and unfortunately I fell along with the Zags.

For any of you who are pals of mine on Twitter, it was actually a pretty nice 4-2 day with my other lone loss being Duke missing a cover by just a single point. But, as we say, ‘dem the breaks. It’s still officially a 0-1 ATS day, and we will look to get back on the winning wagon this evening with a really good Pac 12 matchup. The game is on FS1 if you have it.

The Michigan State vs. Indiana game is going to be fun, and I lean Indiana to cover getting a fat stack of points, but for tonight’s free pick, let’s head to the best out west.

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Today’s Free Pick:

USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats -9.5

A nearly ten point lay down would require a healthy dose of faith in Sean Miller’s Cats. But is such faith warranted?

Arizona enters today in their customary spot atop the Pac-12 standings, but this has been far from a customary Arizona season. The Wildcats are in first more because of the glut of teams with losses rather than their own dominance. Oregon’s second loss of the week opened up the conference race, and if USC can somehow snap Arizona’s home dominance, the race gets REALLLLLY interesting. Oregon, USC and Arizona all have four losses; Cal, Utah, and Colorado have five.

Arizona is just 8-4 in conference, but they have been very good at home, losing only to Oregon. In the past two years, that is there only home conference loss, so it bodes well for the Cats to win tonight. But will they blow out the Trojans? These teams know each other well after the epic four-overtime thriller in Los Angeles, eventually won by USC.

USC might be one of the more under looked teams in the country. They are 18-6 with wins over Arizona, Washington, Monmouth, Wichita State and a sweep of cross-town rival UCLA. Their losses are quality; Xavier in a competitive neutral floor game, Monmouth, and four road conference losses to no worse than Bubble teams, and all but the Oregon State stinker competitive. I don’t think they go into McKale Center and win, but I do think they will compete.

Arizona has been good against the number at home, covering eight of their last eleven games. But I think the number is just a little too wide in a matchup of two teams that have proven to be pretty evenly matched, both in their head-to-head marathon and their overall bodies of work.

Free Pick: USC Trojans +9.5