Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans – NCAAM February 22

Oregon (14-4, 9-3) at No. 17 USC (18-4, 12-3)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: FS1

Opening Tip

Oregon has won five in a row after sliding by Utah, 67-64, on Saturday. The Ducks’ win guaranteed the program a school record 11th straight winning season as coach Dana Altman now has 24th straight winning seasons as a head coach.

USC has been the hot ticket in the Pac-12, but the Trojans fell back into a first place tie with UCLA after an 81-72 loss to Arizona stopped the Trojans’ seven-game winning streak. USC has won seven or it’s last eight games and 13 out of it’s last 15.

Oregon is tied in the loss column with the Trojans and the Bruins with three losses.

USC has won four of the last six meetings in the series, but before that, Oregon defeated USC 14 consecutive times. USC holds a 66-58 lead in the all-time series.

The games has been rescheduled from Jan. 30 as it was postponed from then due to COVID-19 protocols inside the Oregon program.

Vs. The Spread

Oregon:

  • The total has gone UNDER in four of Oregon’s last five
  • The Ducks are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
  • Oregon is 5-1 ATS in it’s last 6 road games at USC

USC:

  • The Trojans are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 6 of the Trojans’ last 9 games
  • USC is 16-2 SU in their last 18 home games

Last Time Out

Chris Duarte and LJ Figueroa had 15 points each as Oregon defeated Utah, 67-64, in Eugene. Figueroa his three triples in a 21 second span to put Oregon up 64-61 with 1:5 remaining. Five points was the biggest margin in the game as there were nine ties and 19 lead changes.

The Trojans’ seven-game winning streak ended as James Akinjo scored 20 points to spark Arizona to an 81-72 win over Troy. USC was outrebounded, 43-36, as Arizona led by eight at halftime. Evan Mobley scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and Tahj Eaddy added 17.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Oregon +4 (-115) +155 O 139 (-128)
USC -4 (-105) -175 U 139 (+109)

Advantage, Oregon

Oregon Duck Basketball LogoThe Ducks are hoping their COVID-19 woes are behind them as they are starting to percolate like everyone thought after losing six games to postponements. Oregon is a tough matchup in that they have any number of talented scorers – five average double figures – that can carry the team in various directions. Eugene Omoruyi (17.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is the leader as he gets to the rim and is a matchup problem with his athleticism against the posts or his size if he draws a guard. LJ Figueroa has played well over his last four in averaging 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in those games.

Key Ducks Stat:

The Ducks generally feature lineups that average sizes between 6-5 and 6-8 which causes matchup problems with their athleticism. This will be an interesting test for USC, who is 15th in the nation in defensive efficiency and 6th in effective field goal efficiency. The challenge defensively lies in how the Ducks defend 7-0 Evan Mobley and 6-10 Isaiah Mobley.

X-Factor:

Forcing turnovers and converting will be a big part of the scheme if the Ducks are to win because they have averaged 13.5 points points off turnovers in their last five games as they have for 14.5 turnovers per game. The Trojans take care of the basketball though as they only lose the ball 12.4 times per game.

Advantage, USC

USC Trojans LogoYou have to start with Evan Mobley (16.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg) when you are finding the advantage for the Trojans. He continues to perform at a high clip which will get him plenty of accolades as Freshman of the Year and potentially Player of the Year in the Pac-12. He makes 57.8 percent of his field goals and is complemented by freshman point guard Tahj Eaddy (15.1 ppg, 47.4%) who is second in scoring as he is good in the mid-range and getting to the hoop.

Key Trojans Stat:

Defending at 38.5 percent has been a staple for this USC team with the shot blocking of the Mobleys and then a defense that has accrued 81 blocks and 74 steals. The Trojans are wanting to prove that the loss to Arizona was a hiccup where the Wildcats totaled 81 points, second most by a USC opponent, while making 8-of-17 threes against the Trojans defense that only allows opponents to make 31.5 percent of their treys.

X-Factor:

Getting Drew Peterson back into the flow of the offense will make the precision with which USC operates even more effective. Peterson, who transferred over from Rice, averaged 10.9 points per game in his first 14 games, but he has averaged only six points per game in his last eight outings where he has shot only 29.6 percent from the floor.

Winner: USC (-4) 74, Oregon 69

The Bets
USC Trojans -4
-105
USC Trojans
-175
OVER 139
-128
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.