USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks – Sweet 16 March 28

NCAA Sweet 16 – West Region

USC (24-7, 15-5) vs. Oregon (21-6, 14-4)

  • Time: 6:45PM PST | 8:45PM CST | 9:45PM EST
  • Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
  • TV: TNT

Opening Tip

The emergence of the Pac-12 in this year’s NCAA Tournament is realized with the Trojans and Ducks meeting in the Sweet 16. It seems too early for this matchup as these are two of the top teams in college basketball and they are both playing their best basketball right now.

USC has won five out of its last six games as their 85-51 desecration of the Kansas Jayhawks last Monday showed the level that coach Andy Enfield’s team has climbed to on the college basketball landscape.

Oregon has won seven of its last eight and 14 of its last 16 as the Ducks started to percolate when Will Richardson came back from injury and solidified the point. Oregon dominated Iowa, 95-80, to get to the Sweet 16 as the Ducks have continued scoring the ball at a high percentage (75 ppg, 47.6%-FG).

The Ducks have won 16 of the last 21 in the series but lost 72-58 on Feb. 22 in the Galen Center. The Trojans jumped to a 9-0 lead and made 17 of their first 26 shots to lead by as many as 23.

Vs. The Spread

USC:

  • The UNDER has been the play in 5 of the last 7 games between the Trojans and Ducks
  • The Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. their Pac-12 counterparts
  • The UNDER has been the call in 5 of the last 7 games where USC has been favored

Oregon:

  • The Ducks check in at 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in the last 8 Oregon games
  • The Ducks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. USC

Last Time Out

The Mobley Brothers have been a phenomenal watch all season long as Isaiah Mobley scored 17 points and all-American Evan Mobley scored 10 and grabbed 13 rebounds as USC destroyed Kansas, 85-51, on Monday. The Trojans made 11-of-18 from the three-point line and shot 57 percent. Isaiah White had 13 points and Tahj Eaddy posted 12 while Chavez Goodwin scored 10.

The Ducks’ athleticism and aggression took Iowa apart early as Chris Duarte scored 23 points and the Ducks put up 56 first-half points and shot 56 percent for the game. LJ Figueroa hit five threes to tally 21 points and Will Richardson posted 19 for the Ducks.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Oregon +2 (-110) +115 O 137.5 (-110)
USC -2 (-110) -135 U 137.5 (-110)

Advantage, USC

USC Trojans LogoThe Trojans’ defense and the athleticism of the Mobley brothers have carried them on both ends of the floor. Defensively, the Trojans are fifth in defensive field goal efficiency and seventh in effective defensive field goal percentage. Evan Mobley (16.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg) has 93 blocked shots while Isaiah has 29. Flip to the offensive end of the floor where both are among the top rebounders in the nation via percentage (per kenpom.com). Then, what makes them even more difficult to defend is the shooting and penetrating of guard Tahj Eaddy (13.5 ppg, 38.6%-3).

Key Trojans Stat:

The Trojans’ defense has been extra good in it’s first two NCAA Tournament games as USC held Drake to 56 and Kansas to 51 points as those equated to 10 opponents that the Trojans have held under 60 points. USC allows only 64.4 points per game while Oregon has upped it’s offense in averaging 83.3 points per game in the last six.

X-Factor:

USC averages a 5.3 blocks per game to lead the nation as they have 164 blocks in 31 games. Evan Mobley’s 93 blocks are a milestone as they are seven short of the school’s all-time block record and his 3.1 blocks per game is sixth in the nation.

Advantage, Oregon

Oregon Ducks LogoThe athleticism of the Ducks could negate some of the inside prowess of the interior defense of the Trojans. This will have to come out of the three-point game and making the extra pass when the Mobleys commit to a potential shooter. The Ducks’ top four scorers all shot 37.5 percent or better from three as Chris Duarte leads with 42.8 percent and Eugene Omoruyi gets to the rim as he has made 83 of 111 free throws.

Key Ducks Stat:

LJ Figueroa has made 11-of-23 triples in his last three games as he is proof of why the Trojans defense has to be complementary to it’s interior defense. He is averaging 18.7 points over those three. Duarte has made 16-of-29 field goals over that same stretch in averaging 14.3 points.

X-Factor:

The Ducks have committed 12 turnovers or less in 12 out of their last 13 games. Part of that is getting Richardson back and getting him settled into the point. He has 22 assists vs. nine turnovers in playing an average of 37 minutes in the last three games.

Winner: USC (-2) 68, Oregon 64

The Bets
USC Trojans -2
-110
USC Trojans
-135
OVER 137.5
-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.