NCAA Tournament First Round: (6) USC (22-7) vs (11) Drake (26-4) prediction and college basketball game preview.
USC vs Drake Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 20
Game Time: 4:30 pm ET
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
USC vs Drake Game Preview
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Why Drake Will Win
Drake couldn’t seem to do anything quite right early against Wichita State, and it couldn’t seem to close when it had everything going its way late, but 53-52 – it won and it gets to move on.
Call it the first game, First Four jitters.
This is a great rebounding team that battled hard enough on the glass to get the key boards in the second half, and it’s usually a whole lot better from the field – it normally makes 49% of its shots and only hit 38% – than it showed.
It can go up-tempo, but it’s not a team that’s going to be afraid of slowing things down the way USC likes it.
The Trojans turn it over a ton, they aren’t great at guarding the three, and they’re miserable on the free throw line, but …
Why USC Will Win
They get to the line over and over and over again. They might miss a bunch of them, but they’ll get there against a Drake defense that will get hit for at least 16 fouls.
Wichita State was able to hit the boards hard enough to get by, couldn’t hit a three to save its season, missed half of its free throws – and it still had a shot at the buzzer with a chance to win.
USC might have struggled over the last few weeks of the season, but the defense was still solid, the rebounding and blocks are still there, and it’s got a suffocating style that keeps the pressure on all game long.
What’s Going To Happen
When it comes to USC, think a better Wichita State. Both teams are active, both play a tough defense that make it hard to get anything consistently going, and both don’t have major turnover issues.
Drake will give the Trojans all they can handle, though.
It’ll seem like USC is always on the line, it’ll own the interior, and it’ll be a drip, drip, drip with the score starting get away from the Bulldogs late in the second half.
USC will never be able to get comfortable, but it’ll get the defensive stops it needs in the final two minutes to get out alive.
USC vs Drake Prediction, Line
USC 68, Drake 63
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Line: USC -6.5, o/u: 135.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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