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USC Tries To Sustain Trojan Victory March

Southern Cal now top 10 nationally, hoping to remain unbeaten

The USC Trojans are one of seven unbeaten teams remaining in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. They host the UC Irvine Anteaters Wednesday night trying to stay that way.

This game could be tricky for the 10th-ranked Trojans. What’s the right side for college basketball picks?

usc tries to sustain trojan victory march uc irvine anteaters at usc trojans
Drew Peterson #13 of the USC Trojans blocks a dunk attempt by Aboubacar Traore #25 of the Long Beach State 49ers in the second half at Galen Center on December 12, 2021
  • Game: UC Irvine (5-2) at USC (10-0)
  • Location: Galen Center – Los Angeles
  • Day/Time: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Television: Pac-12 Network regional coverage (Pac-12 Los Angeles)

UC Irvine Anteaters vs USC Trojans

Irvine tries to forge a season-changing upset on the road

The UC Irvine Anteaters are contenders in the Big West Conference. They have been a good program in recent years and are always looking for an opportunity to build respect and increase their West Coast profile.

Irvine lost their first game of its season, then won five straight before lost its latest contest by eight points at Fresno State.

If you are making sports bets and are looking for a common theme between the two Irvine losses, it’s that the offense bogged down.

The Anteaters failed to score 56 or more points in their two losses. They know how to play defense, holding Boise State to 50 points in limiting Santa Clara to 64.

USC is a team which can struggle against high-level defensive opponents. The Anteaters will try to make this game as ugly as possible. It is often felt underdogs need to shoot perfectly and score at an extremely high level in order for an upset to occur.

That always helps, but the more realistic path includes a bothersome defense.

USC tries to stay perfect while addressing its imperfections

The USC Trojans are unbeaten, which is obviously great, but what’s been especially impressive for the Trojans in the early part of the season is that it hasn’t always the same player who carries the load.

In the first several games of the season, Boogie Ellis thrived while Isaiah Mobley struggled. In more recent weeks, Ellis has struggled and Mobley has had his back with strong all-around performances.

Ellis has gone into a recent shooting slump, but Mobley has played extremely well. Someone always seems to lead the way for USC and in many cases, it’s a different player each time.

USC has one of the nation’s better defenses. The Trojans will try to shut down Irvine and make the first big statement of this contest.

The Trojans allowed just 43 points in one of the better games they played this season, versus San Diego State in Anaheim in late November. If USC plays that level of defense against Irvine, there is little doubt the Trojans will win.

Is USC going to lose focus before bigger showdowns?

The Trojans play Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State after this game. Will the Trojans be thinking about those games or will they focus on the task at hand? How they deliver here would speak volumes about their March Madness odds.

If they concentrate on the task at hand, they should be in good shape in the sportsbook, though Irvine is out for a breakthrough win, and some respect.

Parlay: USC -11½ (-110) and Under 127 (-110) at +$265

Pick: Under 127 (-110)
Pick: USC -11½ (-110)

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