After an unparalleled start to the season, Arizona State has found life in the Pac-12 much harder than in the nonconference part of the year. The Sun Devils could change perspectives starting tonight.
Arizona State is only 5-6 (2-7-2 ATS) in conference action after a 12-0 start and hosts USC, who is trying to hunt down Arizona for first place, trailing them by one game. The Trojans will get their shot at Wildcats in Tucson Saturday night, but they first need to take care of business in Tempe, where people are watching basketball again.
The college basketball odds have Arizona State as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 161. Who has the edge?
USC (17-7, 14-9-1 ATS) had their six-game winning streak snapped at UCLA and will try and avoid a second streak defeat and further hurt their NCAA tournament bid. From a pure talent perspective, only Arizona has more pure ability in the Pac-12. However, USC still modestly underachieves because they don’t do all the little things well enough in the last five minutes of a game. In the loss to the Bruins, they were overzealous in defensive closeouts, showed a lack of boxing out for rebounds and had a bit too much of hero shot-taking.