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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NCAAB : Providence-USC in First Four

Wednesday’s First Four matchup in Dayton between the Providence Friars and the USC Trojans might be one of the most competitive games in the entire NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner will advance as the No. 11 seed in the East Region. Tip-off is at 9:10 ET on truTV.

The Friars (20-12 SU and ATS) come out of the Big East as one of the most profitable teams in college basketball. They’re stout on defense and deliberate on offense, which masks some of their problems getting the ball in the hoop. Providence ranks No. 285 out of the 351 Division I teams in field-goal attempts and No. 248 in scoring at 70.3 points per game.

USC (24-9 SU, 16-16 ATS) was in the AP rankings over the holidays, but barely squeaked into March Madness after a late-season surge. The Trojans are more proficient on offense than Providence, ranking No. 56 overall at 78.7 points per game; however, USC also played a softer schedule in the Pac-12, and their perimeter defense is in question. The top player on the Friars, junior guard Jalen Linsdey, is 46.1% from downtown this year on 6.2 attempts per 40 minutes.

Providence Friars and the USC Trojans

Live odds and lines

NCAAB Odds: Providence, USC Meet in Dayton

The Providence Friars (20-12 SU and ATS) and the USC Trojans (24-9 SU, 16-16 ATS) will meet Wednesday in the First Four round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The winner plugs into the No. 11 seed in the East Region on your March Madness bracket. Tip-off from Dayton is 9:10 ET on truTV.

Providence might have the matchup edge with their 3-point shooting, easily the best feature of an otherwise anemic offense. The Trojans are weak defending the perimeter; opponents have hit 36.5% from long range, leaving USC ranked No. 273 of the 351 Division I teams.

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