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USC vs. UCLA Game Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

UCLA looking to get rolling during March Madness once again

Southern California Eyeing first Pac-12 Tourney Title Since 2009

The regular-season matchups haven’t been for the faint of heart. UCLA made frequent trips to the foul line, making 15 more free throws than USC attempted and the Bruins will look to remain aggressive.

USC’s win during the regular season came without Isaiah Mobley but he figures to have a key role especially when he went off for 20 points in the rematch.

USC vs. UCLA Game Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

There isn’t much to separate the teams. Both squads rely on eight-player rotations but if there is one main difference, it could be that UCLA can get scoring from more players than USC.

UCLA is 12th in the NCAA NET rankings and USC 32nd as both teams are in a good position to be a part of the March Madness bracket but right now the quest is to win the Pac-12 Tournament after both teams fell short in their attempt to secure the regular-season conference crown.

UCLA has +3000 odds to win the national championship while USC comes in at +10000. The March Madness odds figure to increase for whichever team wins on Friday.

Mistake-Prone USC Fortunate To Still Be Playing

There was a time during Thursday’s Pac-12 quarterfinals when it was natural to wonder if the favored Southern California team would finish the game with more field goals or turnovers. There were also questions about whether the third-seeded Trojans would survive Washington’s upset bid.

Washington led by eight points early in the second half and it was a two-point game with 35 seconds left to play. Mobley blocked a game-tying field-goal attempt by Pac-12 scoring leader Terrell Brown Jr. with 11 seconds left and Reese Dixon-Waters made two foul shots with six seconds left as USC held on for a four-point win despite committing 23 turnovers resulting in 13 Washington steals. A loss would certainly not have helped in the eyes who make the March Madness predictions.

They don’t ask how, they ask how many and USC is two wins away from its first Pac-12 Tournament title since 2009.

“I know it’s late but we didn’t want anybody to leave the arena, so we kept it very interesting,” USC coach Andy Enfield told the media following the game. “Our guys played great defense in the second half. That was the key because the turnovers obviously didn’t help us.”

Boogie Ellis was the only USC player to score consistently as he had 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting. The other four starters combined for 33 points.

Southern California is 2-5 against the Las Vegas odds in its last seven games.

UCLA Finishes Strong To Advance to Pac-12 Semifinals

It didn’t always look pretty especially in the early stages of the Pac-12 quarterfinal showdown with Washington State but UCLA ultimately had a relatively easy time.

Jules Bernard allowed UCLA to shake off some early offensive miscues as he has 10 points during a decisive run in the first half. Jaime Jaquez took care of the rest with 17 of his team-high 23 points in the second half as the Bruins punched a ticket to the semifinals with a 10-point win on Thursday.

“We were stuck in the mud a little bit, but Jules made some big shots and got our energy up,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said after the game.

Washington State led twice midway through the first half both coming on baskets by Terrell Roberts. A 3-pointer by Bernard with 5:37 left in the first half put UCLA in front for good. Another 3 by Bernard capped the 19-2 run to give the Bruins a 15-point lead late in the first half.

The Bruins won despite Johnny Juzang and Tyger Campbell combining for just eight points on 4 of 11 shooting.

Juzang struggled a bit in both games against USC in the regular season averaging 10 points on 8 of 29 shooting but after scoring more than 20 points in five of UCLA’s 10 postseason games a season ago, he figures to have a key role in Friday’s semifinal.

Each contest during UCLA’s current four-game winning streak went over the college basketball spreads total.

Southern Cal Trojans vs UCLA Bruins Head-to-Head

Southern California had won five in a row against UCLA before the Bruins’ 75-68 win at home on March 5 as an eight-point favorite that gave UCLA a split of the season series. It was also the last time in the last six meetings that the game finished over the total.

Something of interest to those who bet online, USC has covered in three of the last four showdowns with UCLA.

The teams haven’t played in the Pac-12 Tournament since 2017 when UCLA won 76-74 in the quarterfinals as a 10½-point favorite.

Southern California Trojans at UCLA Bruins Game Information

  • Game: Colorado (21-10) vs. Arizona (29-3)
  • Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Day/Time: Friday, March 11, 11:30 p.m. ET
  • Television: TBS.com

Southern California Trojans at UCLA Bruins Betting Lines

Southern California Trojans at UCLA Bruins Prediction

UCLA and USC are both in the top three in the Pac-12 in scoring offense and defense as well as scoring margin. The Bruins are second in the conference in steals while the Trojans rank second in blocked shots.

USC’s Isaiah White is questionable with a wrist injury. White hasn’t played since February 20.

USC turned the ball over 29 times in two regular-season meetings with UCLA. A number like that on Friday might be hard to overcome.

UCLA is a 6-point favorite which is a big number considering how evenly matched these two teams are.

Here’s your chance to win $1,000,000. Shoot your shot in the BetUS March Mayhem Bracket Contest.

Pick: UCLA Bruins -245

Pick: Southern California Trojans +6 (-110)

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