USC vs. Miami 2022 NCAA Tournament Game Preview
- USC Spread: -1.5
- Miami Spread: +1.5
- USC Moneyline: -125
- TEAM B Moneyline: +105
- Game Over/Under: 139.5
USC vs. Miami Match Up Overview
Stats via KenPom.
USC started the season 13-0, reaching the single digits in the AP poll rankings. Since then, the Trojans have ranked 84th in the nation. USC has struggled in conference, with a win over UCLA as their only major highlight. This squad was swept by Stanford, lost to Oregon, and nearly fell to Oregon State, a 3-28 team, escaping in double overtime. With their size, you’d think USC would be a better interior scoring team, but they only shoot at a 50% clip from inside the arc. What they do well is defend the interior. They’re actually the best in the nation at doing just that. While their offense can be sluggish, their defense is what keeps them afloat. The analytics don’t exactly like this team, which ranks 41st in KenPom. Their resume isn’t exactly impressive either. With the Pac-12 being down, USC only has the 89th-ranked strength of schedule, worse than some mid-major programs. The Trojans are a prime candidate for an early exit.
When I say “double-digit-seeded team from the ACC,” I feel like I could potentially be talking about any of five teams. This Miami crew put together a season that won’t turn any heads but was good enough to go dancing, and that’s all that matters now. Jim Larranaga’s team has competed with the best, splitting the season series with Duke, taking down Virginia Tech on the road, and absolutely demolishing North Carolina. Kameron McGusty and Isaiah Wong lead this team’s offense, taking care of the ball incredibly well and scoring efficiently inside (the Hurricanes rank 27th in 2p%.) The Hurricanes are anything but consistent, however. Their lack of rebounding and inability to score anywhere on the court limit this team and lead to straightforward game-planning for opponents. Pair that with Miami’s 157th-rated defense and poor rebounding, and I am out on this team being able to make it to the second weekend.
Rapid Prediction for USC vs. Miami
This may not be too quantifiable of statistics, but USC down the stretch seemed to just be going through the motions. They currently rank 317th in the momentum matric after finishing their season 1-3 with some dangerously close calls.
Jim Larranaga’s squad takes care of the ball and should get a shot attempt off nearly every possession, transitioning well and shooting at an effective clip from beyond the arc. We’ve seen this crew struggle against bigger teams, however, as seen in their two losses to Florida State. You simply cannot recreate size when practicing and preparing for a team.
For Miami to take down a win, they need to light it up from deep and avoid trying to take on this team down low. If USC wants to win, they need to flood the boards and take advantage of Miami’s lackluster perimeter defense. I can’t say I am confident about this choice but I can see USC rolling here if they come out with the passion and intensity we saw them have in the first half of the season.
USC vs. Miami Round 1 Game Pick