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Go with UConn To Shoot its Way to Another Final Four vs USC

A pair of All-Americans try to lead their teams to the Final Four when Paige Bueckers and UConn goes up against freshman phenom JuJu Watkins in the Portland 3 Regional final. The NCAAW latest lines list third-seeded UConn as the favorite against No. 1 seed USC.

UConn has won both previous matchups, topping the Trojans in Hartford, Conn. 68-44 in 2002 and winning in Los Angeles 72-69 in 2003.

Go with UConn To Shoot its Way to Another Final Four vs USC
Paige Bueckers #5 of the Connecticut Huskies / Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

After winning the first two NCAA tournament games by an average of 25 points, top-seeded USC held off No. 5 seed Baylor to reach the Portland 3 Regional final. UConn, seeded third, outfought seventh-seeded Duke 53-45 to return to the Elite Eight after a one-year absence.

The college basketball betting lines list the UConn Huskies as the 3½-point favorite.

When looking at NCAAW futures odds, UConn is tied for fourth at +1600 and USC is sixth at +1800 in the odds of winning the national title heading into the regional finals.


UConn vs Southern California Game Information

  • Game: UConn (32-5) vs Southern California (29-5)
  • Date/Time: Monday, April 1, 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: Moda Center, Portland, OR
  • UConn vs Southern California Live Stream:TBS.com


UConn is 7-4 against ranked teams. After not being involved in a game decided by less than 10 points since November, UConn has won its last NCAA tournament games by eight points. Southern California is 11-4 in games determined by single digits and is 8-4 against ranked teams. That could factor into the NCAAW expert picks.

UConn is priced at -165 by the BetUS sportsbook to win the game outright with Southern California at +125 on the moneyline.

The Huskies and Trojans meet on Monday, April 1, at Moda Center in Portland, OR. You can watch the game on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

UConn vs Southern California Odds and Spreads

  • Southern California is 3-3 in NCAA Elite Eight matchups.
  • UConn has won its last 14 regional finals.
  • USC is 4-1 against the Las Vegas odds in its last five games.
  • UConn has failed to cover in each of its first three NCAA tournament games.
  • Four of the Huskies’ last five games finished under the total.
  • Four of USC’s last five games went over the total.

Over/Under Pick: Under 136 (-120)

Syracuse shot 33.8% from the floor and Duke was worse at 32.7% so UConn’s defense has been on point in the tournament. The Huskies will be tested by a Southern California team averaging 78 points per game in the NCAA tournament.

The last time the Trojans lost, they shot their way out of a regular-season matchup with Utah by missing 16 of 20 shots from 3-point range. That is something to consider for NCAAW over/under predictions.

The game could come down to the supporting casts for the teams. Ivy League transfers McKenzie Forbes, Kaitlyn Davis, and Kayla Padilla need to come through for USC while freshmen KK Arnold and Ashlynn Shade are X factors for the Huskies.



ATS Pick: UConn -3½ (-120)

If it comes down to tournament experience, give the edge to the Huskies.

Coming into this season, McKenzie Forbes and Dominique Darius were the only USC players with previous NCAA tournament experience as Forbes had seven points in 18 minutes in two games playing for California in 2019 and Darius appeared in two tournament games for UCLA in 2021.

Aaliyah Edwards, Nika Nuhl and Paige Bueckers have played in a combined total of 45 tournament games.

Watkins is a spectacular player but she is also shooting 37% from the field in the NCAA tournament. At 6-2, she is going to be a tough matchup for a UConn team that has eight available players due to injury. Watkins has shot 38 free throws in the three tournament games so UConn will need to avoid getting into foul trouble as three Huskies were on the court for all 40 minutes against Duke and another played 38 minutes.



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Score Prediction

UConn 68, USC 64



Questions of the Day

How have UConn and Southern California fared in their most recent regional finals?

UConn defeated North Carolina State 91-87 in overtime in the Bridgeport Regional final in 2022 to make it to a record 14th straight Final Four. USC lost to Louisiana Tech 75-66 in the 1994 Mideast Regional final.

What were the odds to win the national title for UConn and Southern California heading into the 2023-24 season?

UConn was second at +750 in the odds to win the national title when the 2023-24 began. USC was not among the top 20 teams in the championship odds.

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