Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans – NCAAM February 17

Arizona State (7-9, 4-6)  at No. 17USC (17-3, 11-2)

  • Time: 5 PST – 7 CST – 8 EST
  • Place: Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip:

Arizona State has had six postponements and a cancellation due to covid and finally they have gotten some rhythm in winning three out of their last four as the three wins were by a combined total of eight points.

USC is as hot as anyone in the country right now as the Trojans have won 12 of their last 13 as the 11-2 start in the Pac-12 is the best since 1992. The 17-3 record was last visited in 1992 as well as a win here would give the Trojans their first 18-3 start since 1974.

USC topped Arizona State, 73-64, back on Jan. 9. Evan Mobley led four Trojans in double figures with 19 points as USC made 26-of-32 free throws. Holland Woods had 18 and Alonzo Verge, Jr. netted 17 for the Sun Devils.

The Trojans hold a 49-37 lead in the series as they have won three of the last four and they are 28-12 in Los Angeles. 

Vs. The Spread

Arizona State:

  • The Sun Devils are 3-16 ATS in their last 19 games
  • ASU is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. USC
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of Arizona State’s last five road games

USC:

  • The Trojans check in with a 5-0 ledger ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of USC’s last 9 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in the last five Trojans-Sun Devils games

Last Time Out:

Remy Martin scored 27 points and hit a key three with 37 seconds remaining as Arizona State went up 71-68 and then held off pesky Oregon State for a 75-73 win. Martin and Holland Woods each had a pair of clutch free throws to  secure Bobby Hurley’s 100th win at Arizona State in his six seasons.

Freshman Tahj Eady had a season-high 29 points and Evan Mobley scored 20 points, grabbed 11 boards and blocked six shots as USC picked up a hard-fought 76-65 win at Washington State. USC held the Cougars to 36.4 percent from the field as Wazzu made only 3-of-25 three-point attempts.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Arizona State +10 (-110) +420 O 147 (-118)
USC -10 (-110) -525 U 147 (-102)

Advantage, Arizona State:

The Sun Devils have to be more confident in winning three of the last four although this was even sliced in half with another covid pause that postponed three games. What is normally an efficient offense at ASU has been a picture of the struggle teams are facing with covid as well as injuries. Arizona State is 11th in the Pac-12 in effective field goal efficiency as the Sun Devils have to find ways around Evan and Isaiah Mobley in the paint. The Sun Devils are last in three-point percentage though as they net only 30.7 percent in Pac-12 play from distance. Remy Martin comes back to LA where he may want to leave his mark once and for all this weekend. He has made only 29.2 percent of his three-pointers while getting to the line more and scoring in the paint more to lead his team. The re-emergence of Jalen Graham after his battle with mono has been a huge help as he has shot 68.1 percent from the field in averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 boards in his last six games.

Key Sun Devils Stat:

Although Josh Christopher missed Sunday’s win over Oregon State, he is the second best freshman scorer in the Conference of Champions as he sits at 14.3 points per game while netting 80 percent of his free throws. He is 12-of-27 from three in his past six games with three 20-point games and a double-double.

X-Factor:

ASU has not had a full roster all season which has taken it is toll throughout. Josh Christopher is still listed as questionable with a leg injury and Marcus Bagley is also questionable with an ankle injury. Shredded depth against the power of USC and it’s defense means trouble.

Advantage, USC:

USC Trojans LogoThe Trojans are playing elite on the defensive end of the floor where they have held their last six opponents and 16 of 20 under 70 points this season. USC has held it’s opponents to 38 percent from the field this season, fourth in the nation, as the rim protection of Evan Mobley has stymied opposing big men as he averages 3.15 blocks per game. Adding to that a (+8.3) rebounding margin has shown why USC has risen to the top of the Pac-12.

Key Trojans Stat:

Offensively, this team has as much of an efficient manner as it does defensively. Freshman point man Tahj Eady is part of that equation as he is the second leading scorer (13.5 ppg) and the second top assist man (52) and a high reason why USC is sixth in the nation with a 54.3 assist percentage in Pac-12 play. Evan Mobley (16.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg) is a natural leader from the front court in making 58.8 percent of his shots.

X-Factor:

Isaiah White (7.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg) has turned into a solid role player for Coach Andy Enfield as he figures in different stats columns in different. He has started 16 of the 20 games and his offensive rating of 110.7 (per kenpom) is third on the team behind Evan Mobley and Tahj Eaddy.

Winner: USC 76, Arizona State (+10) 67

The Bets
USC -10
-110
USC
-525
UNDER 147
-102
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.