#7 Oregon vs #6 USC

#7 Oregon vs #6 USC | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 26, 2021

No conference has had more success in the 2021 NCAA Tournament than the Pac-12, and the league is guaranteed at least one school in the Elite Eight because No. 7 Oregon and No. 6 USC face off in West Region Sweet 16 action on Sunday with the Trojans as short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Oregon vs. USC NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

The schools played once in the regular season and the Trojans won 72-58 at home on Feb. 22 despite playing without arguably their second-best player in Isaiah Mobley. Tahj Eaddy had 24 points. Eaddy scored USC’s first nine points — all on 3-pointers — and the Trojans raced to a 17-1 lead while the Ducks missed their first 12 shots. It was 43-22 at the half as USC made 17 of 26 shots in the half. Oregon missed seven of eight 3-pointers and shot 10 of 29 from the floor.

Why Bet on Oregon? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Oregon (21-6) has played just one game in this tournament – the Ducks advanced via “no contest” after positive COVID-19 tests forced VCU to withdraw from its first-round matchup.

Playing for the first time in 10 days, the Ducks showed no signs of rust in a 95-80 upset of No. 2 Iowa in the Round of 32 on Monday. Chris Duarte had 23 points to lead four players in the double figures for the Ducks, who shot 55.9 percent and had a season-high 25 assists. Their 96 points were a school NCAA Tournament record. Oregon’s previous high for points in an NCAA Tournament game was 93 against Iona in 2017.

Duarte was 9-of-12 shooting for his 23 points, and tied his career high with seven assists. Will Richardson also had seven assists, along with 19 points and six rebounds. Eugene Omoruyi filled it up as well with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, and LJ Figueroa had season highs of 21 points with five three-pointers, plus three steals. The Ducks recorded 127 points per 100 possessions. They have lost just two games since Feb. 4.

Iowa all-American center Luka Garza finished with 36 points and nine rebounds, but other than Garza and Joe Weiskamp, the Hawkeyes were 2-of-13 from three-point range and couldn’t keep up with Oregon. This will be the eighth Sweet 16 appearance in UO history.

Duarte, one of five finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, is one of just two players nationally averaging 17.0 points and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field. He is the only major conference player with those averages. Duarte is second in the Pac-12 in steals and three-pointers (2.4 per game), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.428) and sixth in scoring.

Why Bet on USC? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Trojans (24-7) had no trouble with No. 11 Drake in Round 1 and then shockingly slaughtered No. 3 Kansas 85-51 in the Round of 32 on Monday — more than doubling the worst margin of defeat for the Jayhawks in 49 trips to the NCAA Tournament.

“This game meant a lot to our program and our fans. USC basketball is on the rise,” said coach Andy Enfield, who coached No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16 in 2013 and now has the Trojans there for the first time in 14 years.

Isaiah Mobley (17 points) and Evan Mobley (10 points, 13 rebounds) were too long and skilled for Kansas. The Trojans also made 61% of their 3-pointers and held Kansas under 30% from the field. USC has held its opponents to 39.0 percent shooting this season, best in the Pac-12 and 8th-best in the country.

The Mobley brothers also combined for 32 points in USC’s first-round win over Drake. Evan Mobley, a 7-foot freshman, could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Wing Drew Peterson gives Evan Mobley a target for inside-out passes and is dangerous as a spot-up shooter. Guard Tahj Eaddy, an effective 3-point shooter and insistent penetrator of the lane, is the most constant presence in the backcourt.

The only player on USC’s roster who previously had played in the NCAA Tournament was forward Chevez Goodwin who played for Wofford in 2019 which defeated Seton Hall before losing to Kentucky.

Conference rivals Oregon and USC have played 125 times with the Trojans holding a 67-58 series edge. Oregon and USC have played once previously in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans edged the Ducks 81-79 in a 1961 first round game played in Portland, Ore.

The Pac-12 has four teams in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. Arizona lost the national championship that season.

Game Trends

  • Favorite is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
  • Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Ducks are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Ducks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog.
  • Trojans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
  • Trojans are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite.

Expert Prediction

  • USC 72, Oregon 70

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