The Providence Friars are playing the USC Trojans in one of the First Four games to begin the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday. The game is scheduled for a 9:10 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on truTV. The college basketball odds for the game have the Trojans favored to pick up a win by a slim margin here.
College Basketball Odds
Total: 140 points
USC and Providence each slipped into the tournament field, but having to play in the First Four puts them on center stage here in Dayton. Both the Trojans and Friars are 11 seeds in the East Region, the winner will advance to take on sixth-seeded SMU.
The Trojans are led by Bennie Boatwright, he pours in 15 points per game after missing the first half of the season. The 24 wins by USC this season saw them finish with overall in the Pac 12 standings and they dropped five of the last eight overall. Many pundits believe they are lucky to even be in the tournament, but if they are playing well they have enough talent to win this game and beat SMU in the next round.
Providence defends well, giving up just under 67 points per game to rank 50th in the country. They sit at 33rd in adjusted defensive efficiency numbers this season as well, so a slower-paced game could give them an advantage to be able to set up a defense and play at both ends of the floor.
The Friars don’t have the go-to guys they’ve had in the past, but they’ve made the tournament for a fourth-straight season so they have some experience here. Plus, Providence has several key wins this season, most of which came in Big East play.
Free Pick: Providence
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