USC Trojans vs Baylor Bears
How to Watch:
Start Time: Sunday, March 19, approx. 4:45 p.m. PST
Location: BOK Center — Tulsa, Oklahoma
Live Streaming: NCAA.com
From the Conquest Chronicles Game Preview:
“More than often however, the Trojans are beat on the transition and that’s a dangerous game against a long and fast Bears squad. Baylor’s defensive prowess is poised to translate into quick and easy buckets on the other end in this contest.
With Stewart, Boatwright and Metu showing up for the Trojans all tournament long, junior forward Jordan McLaughlin is going to have to find his rhythm on offense. Scoring only five points, McLaughlin was only 2-7 from the field and a completely abysmal 0-5 from the three point line.
Getting everyone on the right page will be crucial against a legitimate basketball powerhouse in Baylor, but much like it’s gone most of the season—the Trojans will look to embody the March Madness moniker and quite possibly get the hat trick for those double digit comebacks.”
Preview from our friends at Our Daily Bears:
“By KenPom ranking, USC is the worst team left. They rank 55th. And the Trojans went 1-6 against the PAC-12’s three best teams. FiveThirtyEight noted how much better Baylor’s odds of making the Sweet 16 were after USC knocked off SMU
Given those rankings and performances, it makes sense Baylor would be a 75% favorite. I said on Facebook live that I thought Baylor would win this game 8 or 9 out of 10 times. My rationale is that Baylor has significant matchup advantages and as a result, is better positioned than the normal team would be in a contest between teams ranked 13th and 55th.
I think somebody besides Johnathan Motley steps up, and the Trojans can’t hit enough 3-point shots to make the run last another weekend. I’ll take Baylor 72-64.”
“The Bears have come to be known for their zone defense under coach Scott Drew. Like USC, Baylor uses its size to mitigate opponents easy inside baskets.
But after 14th-seeded New Mexico State hit a barrage of 3-pointers late in the first half and led Baylor, 40-38, at halftime, the Bears played man-to-man for most of the second half.
It worked. Baylor dominated the first 10 minutes after halftime, opening up a 16-point lead when guard Al Freeman hit a pair of free throws with 10:04 left.
In doing so, the Bears got out of a first-round slump. Baylor lost to 12th-seeded Yale a year ago and 14th-seeded Georgia State in 2015.”
11 USC vs. 3 Baylor Prediction | Who's Got Next?
“To avoid an early hole, USC needs to bust Baylor's zone early. Elijah Stewart's heroics on Friday connecting with the corner 3-pointer could again play a big role. And speaking of big, 6-foot-10 Bennie Boatwright's jump shot can help extend the zone and open seams closer to the basket. If the Trojans can successfully establish Chimezie Metu behind the zone along the baseline, that should force Baylor out of its customary zone.
Metu also will play an integral role on the defensive end, both contesting Baylor's lengthy front court on shot attempts, and keeping the Bears off the boards. BU ranks third nationally in percentage of offensive rebounds off missed shots.”
**We could use some help covering USC Basketball.**
“Baylor Wins If …
The balanced scoring continues. Johnathan Motley had himself an efficient game – 7-for-14, 15 points, 10 boards – and he can take over a game if needed, but balanced scoring will carry Baylor through this tournament. Terry Mason and Al Freeman chipped in 40 points off the bench, creating a nice inside-out combo. If that kind of production keeps up, Baylor can make a run.
While the slow start against New Mexico State was troubling, this is a team that can catch lightning in a bottle and turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye.”