Oregon vs. USC NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks

Oregon vs. USC NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 PicksOregon vs. USC NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 PicksWill Richardson #0 of the Oregon Ducks on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

After storming past everyone else in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 will now begin playing each other as No. 7 seed Oregon and No. 6 USC meet in the Sweet 16. Let’s see their NCAAB odds.

Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans

Sunday, March 28, 2021 – 9:45 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The Pac-12 stormed through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, going 9-1 and eliminating Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee and Oklahoma State among others. The league sent four teams into the Sweet 16, making up a quarter of the teams remaining in March Madness.

The tournament field is now so crowded with Pac-12 teams that they’re starting to play each other. No. 7 seed Oregon will face No. 6 USC in a Sweet 16 game on Sunday night.

The game will have the type of bad blood that only longtime conference rivals can muster. Due to COVID cancellations, the Pac-12 teams didn’t play the same number of regular season games, and Oregon, at 14-4 in the league, was awarded the regular season title by percentage points over 15-5 USC.

Southern Cal sophomore big man Isaiah Mobley provided some early bulletin board material after it was clear the Trojans would be facing Oregon, saying, “Oregon is a really good team, They’ve been on a roll. I don’t want to say necessarily they got luck because they are a good team. But they stole the Pac-12 championship from us.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RIaZnhoHYs?start=987&feature=oembed]

Stop, Thieves

Oregon may not have outright stolen the Pac-12 crown, but the Ducks were certainly fortunate in the games that got cancelled. Oregon ended up not playing at UCLA in the regular season after that game was canceled. The Bruins are another one of the Pac-12’s Sweet 16 teams.

The Duck’s timely cancellations continued into March. The Ducks advanced to the second round after first-round opponent VCU had COVID issues and couldn’t play. A well-rested Oregon team then dismantled Iowa in the second round, beating the No. 2 seed by 15 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.

Oregon has won seven of its last eight games and is lighting it up from outside. The Ducks are 62-of-130, .477 from three over the last six games. For the season, they’re the No. 12 three-point shooting team in the nation. The Ducks are also hitting from inside, topping 50 percent from the field in five of their last seven.

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Grinding It Out

Southern Cal will look to slow things down. The Trojans play the No. 233 tempo in the country and have held their two NCAA opponents under 60, beating Drake, 72-56 and pummeling No. 3 seed Kansas, 85-51. The Trojans finished the regular season by holding five straight Pac-12 foes below 70 and 12 of the last 14.

That list includes Oregon. USC won the only matchup between the two teams this regular season, topping the Ducks at home, 72-58. It was one of the few poor shooting nights for Oregon, who hit 16-of-40, .400 from two-point range and 23-of-57, .404 overall.

That’s no surprise, the Trojans are the top team in the nation at two-point shooting defense and No. 7 in effective shooting defense, as well as No. 8 in defensive efficiency.

Drew Peterson #13 of the USC Trojans celebrates with his team mates. John McCoy/Getty Images/AFP

The Pick

USC’s offense could be the difference-maker in this game. The Trojans have topped 70 in all four postseason games, including 85 last time out against Kansas. USC has also gone over 70 in nine of its last 12.

The Trojans have hit 25-of-53,.472 from three in the last three games. They’ve also hit 50 percent from the field over that span and four times in the last six games. In the first matchup with the Ducks, USC shot 10-of-21, .476 from three and 27-of-55, .491 overall.

Oregon’s best bet will be to put up three-pointers. While USC is the top interior defense in the country, the Trojans are just average—.336, No. 155 overall—in defending the three. USC went just 7-5 against teams that hit eight three-pointers against them, 17-0 against teams that hit fewer.

For your NCAAB picks, look for the Trojans to continue their run into the Elite Eight.

NCAAB Pick: USC -2.5 (-108) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

USC -2.5(-108)

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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.


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