NCAA Basketball Betting for Texas vs. USC

By: Brad Young | Saturday, December 4, 2010
Rick Barnes

Longhorns coach Rick Barnes will be looking for a solid performance against USC

The Big XII-Pac-10 Hardwood Series ends this season, but it does provide us with a matchup better suited for college football. Texas and Southern Cal are known as college football royalty, but both basketball programs collide Sunday in Los Angeles.

Texas (6-1 straight up, 4-1 against the spread) is riding a three-game SU winning streak after Wednesday's ‘non-board' affair against Lamar, 76-55. The 20th-ranked Longhorns have actually been involved in two games off the board their last three outings.

The only board contest during that stretch was a narrow victory over Rice Nov. 27 as a 21-point home favorite, 62-59. The combined 121 points failed to eclipse the 138-point closing total. That matchup was actually in a tough spot for Texas after the team just played Illinois and Pittsburgh in neutral-site matchups.

The Longhorns actually trailed Rice by three points heading into halftime, 23-20, before storming their way to 42 second-half points. Texas finished the contest with advantages in rebounding (30-25) and assists (15-10), while shooting 41 percent (20-of-49) from the field and 44 percent (11-of-25) from behind the arc.

Guard Cory Joseph paced the offense with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Jordan Hamilton added 13 and five rebounds. Forward Tristan Thompson added 10 and 10 in the victory, while Gary Johnson contributed eight and six.

Southern Cal (4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) returns home after dropping both games of a recent two-game road trip. The Trojans fell to Nebraska Nov. 27 as a five-point road underdog, 60-58, before falling at Texas Christian Monday as a three-point road ‘dog, 81-69. The combined 150 points with the Horned Frogs soared ‘over' the 128-point closing total.

USC Trojans shot a 45 percent (27-of-60) from the field, but allowed Texas Christian to connect at a 51-percent clip (30-of-59). The Trojans were also on the short end of the rebounding battle (39-29), while both teams dished out 15 assists.

Forward Nikola Vucevic accounted for 16 points and 10 rebounds in the setback, while forward Alex Stepheson added 14 and 10. Guard Bryce Jones was the only other player to reach double digits in scoring with 13 on 4-of-12 shooting.

Texas and USC have played each other twice since the 2007 season, with the winning team prevailing by 19 points both times. The Trojans cruised in 2007 as a 2 ½-point road underdog, 87-68, while the combined 155 points went ‘over' the 146 ½-point closing total. The Longhorns returned the favor last year as a 21-point home ‘chalk,' 69-50, while the combined 119 points went ‘under' the 132-point closing total.

Texas follows this contest with tune-up home games against Texas State and North Florida before traveling to North Carolina and Michigan State. The Longhorns have seen the ‘over' go 7-2 the previous nine games overall. Texas is just 7-18-1 ATS its past 26 road outings.

USC hosts Northern Arizona after this contest before games at Kansas and Tennessee. The Trojans are just 1-9 ATS their last 10 Sunday games, and 2-5-1 ATS their previous eight home outings.

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