Following an embarrassing loss over the weekend, the Arizona Wildcats look to pick up the pieces heading the final regular-season week of the NCAA basketball betting schedule with a makeup game at the USC Trojans.
Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 – 11:00 PM EST at Galen Center
A trip to Los Angeles to take on USC begins a busy week for Arizona. If there is any consolation to the Wildcats’ recent loss, it’s that the Pac-12 leaders had good company on a Bloody Saturday when a record seven of the top 10 teams fell, and Joe Lunardi still has Arizona on the top line of his brackets for the upcoming NCAA Men’s Tournament.
Southern California sits 1½-games behind the Wildcats in the current Pac-12 standings and actually ranked just ahead of Arizona on the preseason NCAA basketball futures that made UCLA and Oregon the favorites in the conference. The Trojans have won six in a row, and presently slot in as a No. 6 seed according to Lunardi.
Underdogs Cover Last Six Meetings
This one’s for the night owls out there as the final game on Tuesday’s college basketball betting card. PointsBet is offering the Wildcats at -4½ for the ESPN broadcast, and 150½ is the total.
Originally scheduled on January 2nd, the contest was waved off due to virus issues with the programs at both USC and UCLA. It would be more than a month later when the Trojans traveled to Tucson to meet Arizona in the first matchup between the rivals this season, and the Wildcats prevailed in that one by a 72-63 count on the NCAAB scoreboard.
It was a back-and-forth affair most of the game and a 6-point lead with 6½ minutes remaining had USC primed to pull off an upset as a double-digit underdog. The Trojans built that lead by going on a 10-0 run, but Arizona then closed matters on an 18-3 run of its own as Azuolas Tubelis (18 pts, 11 rebs) recorded the first of his three double-doubles on the year.
Those second-half runs by both sides were not nearly enough to reach the 150½-point total, and the win gave Arizona a 71-46 lead in the rivalry. Last year’s meeting at Galen Center in L.A. ended with the Wildcats earning an 81-72 decision as 6-point underdogs, Tubelis leading the charge against the Trojans once again with a double-double.
‘Cats Cover Eight of Last Ten as Road Chalk
While Gonzaga was favored by more in its loss to Saint Mary’s by more than Arizona in its 79-63 defeat in Boulder to Colorado this past Saturday, the Wildcats’ loss made a bigger thud on Black Saturday for two reasons: 1) It marked the first time since Virginia’s historic loss in the 2018 NCAA Tournament for the No. 2 team in the country to lose to an unranked team, and; 2) It ended a 9-game win streak for Arizona in what has been a historic season for the program.
And yet, the setback as 9½-point road chalk at top sportsbooks didn’t cost Tommy Lloyd’s team one spot in the rankings. Lloyd didn’t seem surprised at all to see Colorado take total control of the game in the second half, a 20-minute span when the Buffaloes turned a 5-point deficit at intermission into a 16-point win thanks to the defense.
Colorado completely shut down Arizona’s leading scorer Bennedict Mathurin in the second half, limiting him to 12 points total for the game to mark his lowest output since USC held the sophomore to 8 in their first meeting. The Wildcats were dismal from 3-point range and committed 16 turnovers to boot.
Men of Troy 2-10 ATS Last Dozen at Galen
Andy Enfield has the Trojans playing great basketball entering Tuesday’s tussle as USC looks to extend a 6-game win streak. Though the Trojans have only managed to cover two of the half-dozen victories in the current streak, both of those ATS triumphs came as – wait for it! – underdogs of 4½ points on the college basketball odds.
Drew Peterson has been a big factor in USC’s current run with double-digit outputs in each of the six wins. The 6-9 senior presents matchup problems for the defense, and in addition to averaging more than 17 PPG during the win streak, Peterson has contributed a pair of double-doubles while dishing 26 assists and blocking nine shots.
Lloyd and the Wildcats deserve a lot of credit for exceeding expectations this season, but having to go right back out on the road to fit in this makeup game could be too much for a tired Arizona squad. This is a good spot for a college basketball pick on the Trojans straight-up.
NCAAB Pick: USC (+170) with Caesars Sportsbook