Trojans Top Underdog Play on Sunday's Card

USC Trojans player in action

Willie Bee

Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:28 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 19, 2017 2:28 PM UTC

We'll know the entire Sweet 16 field later today, and it's the Baylor Bears who are favored on the NCAA basketball odds to join that group with a win over the USC Trojans.

My March Madness bracket is all but dead in the East Region. Wisconsin's upset of top-ranked and defending national champion Villanova pretty much took care of that, the only two teams left that are still even alive in the quadrant being Florida and Duke.

An opening round upset Friday started the demise of this portion of the bracket, No. 11 seed USC taking down No. 6 SMU. And since I believe the Trojans beat a better team of Mustangs than the No. 3 Baylor Bears they're facing today, I'll gladly take the Pac-12 side plus the points in today's Round of 32 matchups.

Those points total 6 on Sunday morning, the Trojans and Bears set to tip around 7:45 PM (ET) at Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa. College basketball bettors intent on playing the total are faced with a decision on 142½ points.


Double-Digit Comebacks Becoming Old Hat For Trojans

The NCAA basketball odds were the same Friday when Southern California (26-9 straight up, 18-16 against the spread) faced SMU and came away with a 66-65 victory in a thriller. The Trojans overcame an 8-point halftime deficit that ballooned to 10 in the final 20 minutes, Elijah Stewart's 3-pointer with about half a minute remaining proving to be the decisive bucket in beating the Mustangs for the second time this season.

Andy Enfield's squad also came back from a big second-half deficit in their First Four matchup with Providence this past Wednesday, and enjoyed the sweet taste of revenge after falling to the Friars in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Trojans enter today's contest with 13 wins in games they trailed by at least 10 points.

Scott Drew and Baylor (26-7 SU, 15-13 ATS) are well aware of USC's penchant for pulling off rallies. Sophomore guard Jake Lindsey said the two Trojans wins to reach this point, "shows they have some resilience and some fight," so we shouldn't expect the Bears to let off the gas if they do get a lead. Baylor also had to mount a little rally to win its opener against No. 14 New Mexico State after the Aggies took a 40-38 lead into intermission. The Bears had a nice run to open the second half and never really looked back in skating to the 91-73 final as 11 point chalk, the most points Baylor had scored since the start of the Big 12 schedule.


Bears & Trojans Meet For 1st Time In 41 Years

This is just the third time the two programs have met on the hardwood and first clash since 1976. The previous two were split, and interestingly enough, USC's win also came in the Sooner State down I-44 in Oklahoma City.

Buoyed by their two wins so far, the Trojans shouldn't feel intimidated facing the 3rd-seeded Bears today, and while I don't really expect them to win outright, I do expect a cover for my free college basketball pick.


Free NCAAB Pick: USC +6 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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