We have a full slate of college basketball action on Thursday throughout the country. Tip-off for the first game of the day is at 12:00 p.m. EST in Philadelphia at Temple. A Pac-12 matchup between Cal and Colorado is the marquee matchup for the early afternoon slate of games. The Pac-12 has a couple of evening games out west between the Washington Huskies and USC Trojans, along with the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon State Beavers a little later in the evening.
We are unlikely going to find the NCAA Tournament winner from the Pac-12. That’s the understatement of the year. There might be a team from out west that goes all the way, but it’s not looking like a team from the Pac-12. If you go to Spokane, then you should be able to find a national contender there in the Gonzaga Bulldogs. You definitely won’t find a contender in Seattle, Washington. Washington has been having all types of problems this season.
If they changed spots with Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, it likely wouldn’t make too much of a difference. Washington would probably find the West Coast too difficult given their current state. The basketball program has taken a big dive, and doesn’t deserve to be playing in the CBI, let alone going to the NCAA Tournament. There’s always the CIT, but that looks out of reach as well.
Washington goes into Los Angeles with a record of 1-9 following another loss on Saturday against Cal. At least they were competitive in that game, which hasn’t been the case often this season for the Huskies. It’s been a massive struggle for Washington to find some traction, with their only win against a bad Seattle team on December 9, 73-41.
Perhaps a trip to Los Angeles will help get them on course. No luck so far this season. USC have their eyes on winning the Pac-12 and earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament. UCLA currently leads the Pac-12 at 5-0 in the conference, while Oregon, Stanford, and USC are all closely behind. Head below for our free Washington vs. USC pick on January 14, 2021.
Washington Huskies vs. USC Trojans NCAA Betting Odds:
Washington vs. USC Prediction:
Washington needs a playmaker to step up and take control of this team. That’s unlikely to happen in 2021, though. The Huskies are scoring an average of 63.3 points per game for 317th in the NCAA. In a good sign recently, Washington scored 75 points in a 91-75 loss and 78 points in an 84-78 loss against Cal. At least the offense played reasonably well, but the defense failed to do their part and help out. Since beating Seattle, the Huskies have lost six straight games.
Their worst defeat during that stretch was a 66-58 loss against Montana on December 16. The defensive effort has been a major concern for Washington as well. They’ve conceded 74.7 points per game for 274th in the nation. That number is worse on the road, with 80 points against per contest. Since holding Montana to 66 points, Washington has allowed an average of 86.75 points a game. While Washington searches for a playmaker to get them out of this hole, the defensive effort must pick up soon.
If Washington can’t score tonight, then USC would gladly grind away at the Huskies and pull away with their defense. The Trojans have been one of the better teams in the country on the defensive end. USC has allowed an average of 63.5 points per game for 39th in the nation. They are one of the best in limiting field goal percentage.
USC is second in the NCAA, as they’ve held the opposition to a terrific 36% shooting from the field. Conversely, Washington is 321st, with opponents connecting at a 39.4% clip. After getting disinterested against UC Riverside in a 67-62 win, expect the Trojans to come out with more energy for this Pac-12 matchup. Expect Washington to put together another dreary shooting performance tonight, with USC pulling away for a 20-point win or thereabout.