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NCAAW Breakdown: USC Makes Statement

Top-10 Matchup on Deck for Stanford16

The biggest news of the week came when second-ranked and perennial Pac-12 powerhouse Stanford managed just 46 points in a loss to Southern California. Florida State also pulled a huge upset by taking down North Carolina State as freshman Ta’niya Latson had 31 points on 13-of-16 shooting.

It was a lost weekend for Arizona with losses to Colorado and Utah, while Baylor dropped games to unranked Oklahoma State and West Virginia to fall out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2004.

Charisma Osborne #20 of the UCLA Bruins drives to the hoop as Destiny Littleton #11 of the USC Trojans
Charisma Osborne #20 of the UCLA Bruins and Destiny Littleton #11 of the USC Trojans - Katharine Lotze/Getty Images/AFP

South Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 team, receiving all 28 first-place votes. Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 2 and LSU went from fifth to third.

The biggest jump was by North Carolina as the Tar Heels went from 22nd to 17th while rival North Carolina State dropped nine spots to No. 20.

Looking at the Las Vegas odds, South Carolina (+125) is favored in the odds to win the national title. Stanford is next at +250 followed by UConn at +650.

Let’s check the latest NCAAW picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAW predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAW expert picks for you to consider.

Also check on these NCAAB betting lines.

Trojans Get Defensive

There was no secret to Southern California’s upset of then-No. 2 Stanford.

The Trojans made life difficult for Stanford’s top players with Cameron Brink and Haley Jones combining to miss all seven of their 3-pointers and finish 6 of 27 from the field.

USC came away with the 55-47 win despite shooting just 27%.

The Trojans narrowly missed upsetting UCLA earlier this month, and in the last two games allowed California and Stanford to score just 43 and 46 points. USC improved to 10-1 at home with the two victories.

Minnesota transfer Kadi Sissoko continues to lead USC in scoring, averaging 15.3 points. However, Destiny Littleton led the way in the last two games, putting up 18 points in the wins over Cal and Stanford.

Flexing Their Muscles

Get ready for some can’t-miss matchups in the Big Ten.

There are six teams in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and that includes five in the top 15.

Ohio State moved up a spot to No. 2 in the national rankings as the Buckeyes are 18-0 and alone in first place in the Big Ten standings.

Indiana and Iowa are just a game behind.

Ohio State is rolling even without Jacy Sheldon, the team’s No. 2 scorer, and Madison Greene, another double-digit scorer.

Iowa is led by the conference’s leading scorer while Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes is second in scoring and fourth in rebounding.

Indiana is ranked sixth, Iowa is 10th, Maryland 11th, Michigan 14th and Illinois 21st. When looking at the Las Vegas odds, Indiana (+1400) has the best chance of Big Ten teams to win the national title followed by Ohio State (+1800) and Iowa (+2800).

Ailing Sun Devils

A difficult start to the season for Arizona State has become even more challenging.

Injuries resulted in the Sun Devils not having enough available players and games against Utah and Colorado went down as forfeits.

“We came to the conclusion after meeting with our doctors and medical staff we will not be making the trip to Utah and Colorado this weekend, Arizona State coach Natasha Adair said in a statement.We understand the games will be forfeited, but the reality is there was no decision to be made. With few healthy scholarship players, time to heal is our only option. Our plan is to get our team healthy over the course of this week and be ready when we host Arizona Jan. 22.”

Arizona State is now 0-7 in the Pac-12.

Getting Into the Win Column

The number of winless teams in the country continues to shrink thanks to strong efforts from a pair of freshmen.

Texas Southern got 24 points from freshman Micah Gray in a 77-61 win at Mississippi Valley State, while Navy rolled to a 63-43 win against visiting Loyola (MD). Freshman Maren Louridas matched her season high with 24 points in the win for Navy.

That leaves Saint Peter’s, Hartford and Chicago State as the only Division I women’s basketball teams yet to win this season.

That number will continue to shrink before the end of the month as Hartford will play host to Chicago State in games on Jan. 28 and 29.

Player of the Week

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Clark had 20 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists in a 93-64 win over Northwestern. Freshman Hannah Stuelke came off the bench to score 17 points.

Clark followed that up with 27 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists as the Hawkeyes rolled to a 108-67 win against Penn State.

Clark is in the top five nationally in both scoring (26.8 points per game) and assists (7.3) as she is one of the front-runners for the national player of the year according to the women’s basketball betting lines.

Team of the Week

South Carolina Gamecocks

Zia Cooke #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks
Zia Cooke #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks – Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images/afp

Sometimes it is easy to overlook the obvious, and South Carolina’s dominance tends to fly under the radar.

Kentucky and Missouri have had better teams than the 2022-23 squads. Still, South Carolina has to deal with every team viewing the matchup against the Gamecocks as the game of the year.

South Carolina went to Kentucky and won by 39 points and then topped visiting Missouri by 31 points.

After not having a 20-point effort in her first 16 games, Aliyah Boston had 21 points and 11 rebounds against Kentucky. She followed that up with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Missouri win. The numbers would have been even more impressive if she had played more than 50 combined minutes in those two games.

South Carolina joins Ohio State and LSU as the last three undefeated women’s teams at the Division I level. SEC rivals South Carolina and Louisiana State won’t meet until Feb. 12.

Game of the Week

Utah vs Stanford

  • Date, time (TV): Friday, Jan. 20, 9:00 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

There is plenty of star power in this top-10 matchup with USC transfer Alissa Pili leading Utah with an average of 19.8 points per game. Stanford counters with Cameron Brink and Haley Jones, who combine for 26.7 points and 18 rebounds per game.

Stanford and Utah are tied with Colorado atop the Pac-12 standings with 5-1 records

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