USC Cinderella Ride Comes to an End Against Battle Tested Baylor

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:29 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 18, 2017 8:29 PM UTC

Can USC continue to ride the momentum gained from this week’s pair of stirring NCAA Tournament come from behind victories? SBR college basketball expert Ross Benjamin has some strong opinions in that regard in this betting preview.

    USC vs. Baylor

East Region. Sunday, 8:40 PM ET


Game# 725-726

#11 seed USC and #3 seed Baylor will meet on Sunday in an East Regional Quarterfinal matchup at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The winner moves on to the “Sweet 16” next Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York and will face either South Carolina or Duke. Currently (3/18) March Madness odds indicate that Baylor is a 7.0-point favorite across the board. The total in this contest ranges from 142.5 to 143.0.


Cardiac Trojans

USC has won its first 2 games of this NCAA Tournament by overcoming 15 and 10-point 2nd half deficits. They defeated Providence by 4-points in a “First Four” game on Wednesday night in Dayton and covered as a 2.5-point favorite. The Trojans followed that up with a stunning 1-point upset win over an SMU team that entered March Madness having won 26 of their previous 27 games. USC assured it would be the 5th consecutive year that a team winning a “First Four” game proceeded in advancing to the “Round of 32”.


Impressive Non-Conference Resume

The Baylor Bears are now 7-0 straight up and 6-0 ATS this against non-conference opponents that are in the NCAA Tournament. The latest of those victories came on Friday during an 18-point win over New Mexico State. The Bears covered that contest as a sizable 11.0-point favorite despite trailing by 2 at halftime. The remaining 6 of those wins came against Florida Gulf Coast, VCU, Oregon, Louisville, Xavier, and Michigan State. The latter of the 4 have advanced to the “Round of 32”.


Final Thoughts and Pick

The ability to comeback in games like USC recently has can work in 1 of 2 ways. It can give that team an extreme confidence level knowing they’re never out of a game if they fall behind. Contrarily, those teams can become victims of their own confidence, become lackadaisical at the start of games, and ultimately having to overcome large deficits catches up with them.

I already mentioned Baylor’s exceptional record this season against quality non-conference opponents. Conversely, USC has faced just 1 non-conference opponent that made it to the “Big Dance”, and that was SMU whom they beat twice. That’s certainly nothing to make light of considering the year SMU had. However, Baylor’s overall strength of schedule will pay dividends in a matchup such as this one. Conversely, the Trojans recent flair for dramatic comebacks will come to a screeching halt. I’m going to lay the points with the favorite for one of my March Madness picks.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Baylor -7.0Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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