USC Trojans at Utah Utes – NCAAM February 27

No. 19 USC (19-5, 13-4) at Utah (9-11, 6-10)

  • Time: 5 PST – 7 CST – 8 EST
  • Place: Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip:

The Trojans have lost two in a row and have fallen one game behind rival UCLA in the Pac-12 race. The 13-4 start for the Trojans in the Pac-12 is it’s best since a 15-3 campaign in 1992.

Utah has lost four in a row after it’s 76-61 loss to the Bruins on Thursday night. The four game losing streak answered a three-game win streak from Jan. 30 – Feb. 11.

The Utes have a 22-19 lead in the series, but the Trojans have won three out of the last five, including a 64-46 win in LA on Jan. 2.

Vs The Spread:

USC:

  • The Trojans are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games
  • The OVER has been in the play in 4 of USC’s last 5 games
  • USC is 3-12 ATS in it’s last 15 games against Utah

Utah:

  • The Utes check in at 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 4 of the last 6 games between the Trojans and the Utes
  • The total has gone over though in 6 of the last 7 USC-UTAH games in Salt Lake City

Last Time Out:

Colorado led wire-to-wire Thursday night in capturing an 80-62 win over USC to sweep the seasons series over the Trojans. The Buffaloes won their sixth in a row vs. Troy as they made 12 of 22 triples. Evan Mobley and Tahj Eaddy netted 13 apiece for USC.

UCLA made 11 of it’s first 13 field goals in building 60-39 lead to defeat the Utes, 76-61, at Huntsman Center on Thursday evening. Brandon Carlson lead Utah with 17 points as he made 8-of-14 field goals.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
USC -4½ (-112) -205 O 137½ (-110)
Utah +4½ (-108) +175 U 137½ (-110)

Advantage, USC:

USC Trojans LogoThe athleticism of the Trojans will be a big key in how this game plays out. Evan Mobley in the paint will be a talk task for Branden Carlson and Riley Batten. Mobley (16.5 ppg, 8.5 rebounds per game) also shows up well as a passer (2.1 apg) and shot-blocker (3.0 bpg.) He is the only Power 7 player who averages at least 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 assists. Ethan Anderson should be able to perfect what should be a mismatch with Rylan Jones as Jones will have to guard the wily Eaddy, who quarterbacks an offense that 23rd in the nation in offensive efficiency.

Key Trojans Stat:

USC has to get back to winning the glass as they were a (-7) in the loss to Arizona and a (-1) Thursday in the loss to Colorado. Much of that is having to assert more physicality against teams that bring an aggressive presence. Evan Mobley averaged 8.3 boards per game and only had an average of 5.0 in those last three.

X-Factor:

The Trojans are looking to get Isaiah Mobley (8.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) back into the offense as he missed the Oregon win on Monday with a strained calf and he had only two rebounds and five points in 19 minutes. He makes USC a tougher cover in the paint as he is still USC’s third leading scorer. In shooting 47 percent from the field.

Advantage, Utah:

Utah Utes LogoUsing the athleticism of the duo of Alfonso Plummer and Timmy Allen is the best alternative for the Utes in this matchup. Plummer likely will matchup with Tahj Eaddy (14.2 ppg, 39.6% -3) who has had an excellent season for the Trojans as he is their second leading scorer. Defending Allen is a challenge for any team as he averages a team leading 16.8 points and has gotten to the line 117 times.

Key Utes Stat:

The Utes need another three-point shooter to step up beside of Plummer who has made 45. If Riley Battin (20) can bring something from the perimeter out of the 4-spot. It makes USC have to defend differently in maybe bringing Isaiah Mobley to the perimeter although it leaves whomever is at center at the mercy of such a solid shot blocker in Evan Mobley.

X-Factor:

Ian Martinez brings different dynamics for Utah when he is operating with good efficiency. He had 10 points in the loss to UCLA as he was 4-for-6 in 28 minutes. The key is staying out of foul trouble and defending as he had a season high 16 at Cal five games ago.

Winner: USC (-4½) 69, Utah 63

The Bets
USC -4½
-112
USC
-205
UNDER 137½
-110
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.