In a meeting of two teams searching for some level of success, the USC Trojans and Nebraska Cornhuskers hook up for a Big Ten/Pac-12 basketball battle at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.
Battle on Hardcourt
Last Week's CBB Record: 5-7
In a meeting of two of the most storied programs in college
football history … oh, wait a second, it says “NCAAB.”
In a meeting of two teams searching for some level of
success, the USC Trojans and Nebraska Cornhuskers hook up for a Big Ten/Pac-12
basketball battle at the Devaney Center in Lincoln Monday night (8 pm ET, Big
Can Southern Cal climb back above the .500 mark with a road
victory? Or can Nebraska continue its surprisingly good start to this season
with another inter-conference win?
Nebraska, after going 12-18 last year, returns just one
starter for its first season under new Coach Miles, who went 39-25 with an NCAA
tournament bid over his last two seasons at Colorado State.
Miles' main job at the moment is trying to replace 41 points
and 13 boards per game that left after last season.
In the very early phases of trying to build this program
into something, the Huskers are good bets to finish last in the Big Ten this
That being said, Nebraska is off to a solid start to this
season, winning five of its first six games. However, they also haven't exactly
been playing a Murderer's Row of a schedule. NU opened with a win over Southern
University, a two-point victory over Valparaiso and wins over Nebraska-Omaha
The 'Huskers then lost to a mediocre Kent State team 74-60,
but last time out Nebraska pulled a minor upset, winning at Wake Forest 79-63,
helping the Big Ten pull off a split of its challenge series vs. the ACC. The Corn
Huskers shot 51 percent from the floor vs. the Deacons and committed just eight
Nebraska comes into
Monday's game on six days off.
On the other side of this match-up USC returns almost
everybody from a team that staggered through an injured-plagued 6-26 campaign
last year. Plus, they've added the services of several transfers who will play
plenty this year. Who knows yet, if this will help with our USC NCAAB picks.
According to some “experts” we consulted the Trojans have a
decent chance to make a run at a top-four finish in the Pac-12 this season,
which might get them back to the Big Dance.
USC is off to a 3-3 start to this season, with victories
over Long Beach State and Texas and losses to Illinois, Marquette and San Diego
State. So at least the Trojans have been playing a decent early-season
Southern Cal fell down 27-8 in the early going last Sunday
vs. the No. 25 Aztecs, then rallied to take a lead half-way through the second
half. But a couple of technical fouls in the final minutes cost the Trojans
dearly, “aiding” in their eventual defeat.
The Trojans come into Monday night's game on a full week's
These teams met one year ago, when the 'Huskers went out to
LA and outlasted the Trojans 64-61 in overtime.
USC, which has been starting two seniors, two juniors and a
sophomore, is shooting just 40 percent from the floor so far this season, 33
percent from 3-point land and 69 percent from the FT line. But at the other end
of the court the Trojans have held opponents to less than 42 percent FG
Nebraska, which has been starting three seniors, a junior
and a freshman, is shooting 46 percent from the field, just 30 percent from
long range and 68 percent from the line. Defensively the 'Huskers have limited
foes to 43 percent FG shooting.
Betting Line and Trends
As of Monday AM some books, such as Pinnacle, were listing
USC as a two-point odds favorite for this game, while other shops, like 5Dimes,
were giving Nebraska 2.5 points as home dogs.
Also, most betting outlets opened the the OVER/UNDER on this
game at right around 118, then bumped it to 119.
These two teams are a combined 5-2 on the totals this
season, not because they're offensively efficient or terrible on defense, but
because their O/Us have been listed fairly low, in the mid-120s or so.
Early-season records aside, we like the Trojans' long-term
prospects for this season more than the 'Huskers. USC has played a decent
schedule this season, while Nebraska hasn't really played anybody. So, for our free college hoops pick for Monday
we'll take USC at the -2 offered at Pinnacle.