#6 USC vs. #1 Gonzaga NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

#6 USC vs. #1 Gonzaga NCAA Tournament Elite Eight | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The West Region title of the 2021 NCAA Tournament and a trip to the Final Four is on the line Tuesday night when sixth-seeded USC takes on No. 1 and unbeaten Gonzaga in the Elite Eight with the Zags as nearly double-digit favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet USC vs. Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info Last Meeting

The programs meet for the third time ever. USC won the first all-time meeting, 77-60, on Dec. 4, 1991, in the Spokane Coliseum. The following season, the Trojans picked up a win at home, 77-59, on Dec. 7, 1992.

Why Bet on USC? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Southern Cal (25-7) has had three blowouts in this NCAA Tournament, spanking Pac-12 rival and No. 7 seed Oregon 82-68 on Sunday. Their combined margin of victory in three wins over Drake, Kansas and Oregon in the NCAA tournament? 64 points.

Isaiah White scored a season-high 22 points vs. the Ducks and USC shut down Oregon’s potent offense to reach the Elite Eight for the first time in 20 years. Oregon floundered after USC switched to zone early on, unable to find holes or get much of anything to drop over it until a late rally that came up short. The Pac-12’s best 3-point shooting team (38%) went 5 of 21 from the arc.

The Trojans made 59 percent of their 3-point attempts in that victory, and Isaiah Mobley and Evan Mobley combined to score 23 points against the Ducks. But it was Tahj Eaddy (20 points, 3-for-6 from the 3-point line) and White (4-for-5 from beyond the arc) who exploited the space Oregon offered in its attempt to stall the Mobleys.

Evan Mobley, who might be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, had 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting and had eight rebounds, six assists and blocked two shots while altering several others. Mobley is the only Division I player to be averaging at least 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 assists.

“I do want to mention one thing here. Evan Mobley was our fourth-leading scorer tonight, but he had six assists,” Coach Andy Enfield said. “Against Kansas he was our fifth-leading scorer and he had five assists. So that just goes to show you how unselfish Evan Mobley is and what a great player he is. He takes what the defense gives. He has confidence in his teammates, and that goes throughout the whole team.”

The Pac-12 now has three teams in the Elite Eight for the second time, and first since 2001. USC’s 2001 team beat Kentucky to reach the Elite Eight. That is the only other Sweet 16 victory for the Trojans in the past 67 years.

The Trojans really know how to pounce on an opponent. On Dec. 1, they beat BYU by 26 points, a larger margin of victory than Gonzaga had in its three wins over the Cougars this season.

Why Bet on Gonzaga? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Gonzaga (29-0) has won every game this season but one by double digits and has not been challenged in the Big Dance yet. The Zags blew out No. 5 Creighton 83-65 in the Sweet 16. On the season’s biggest stage thus far, the top-seeded Zags’ trademarks were on full display: lethal transition game, paint domination and dazzling passing and cutting.

Florida transfer Andrew Nembhard had 17 points and eight assists, both season highs as the Zags extended their school-record winning streak to 33, the Division I record for consecutive double-digit wins to 26 and reached the Elite Eight for the fourth time in six years.

Second-team All-American Drew Timme led the way with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists as the Zags shot 59.6% from the field against a foe that led the Big East in defensive field goal percentage. Joel Ayayi added 13 points and eight rebounds. First-team All-American Corey Kispert scored 12 points and Timme’s fellow second-teamer Jalen Suggs finished with nine.

The Zags scored at will against Creighton, shooting a 76% on 2-point attempts. Defensively, the Zags held Creighton to 40 points over the final 30 minutes.

“There’s so many ways that they can beat you,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “They’re elite scoring at the basket and at the rim. They had 50 points in the paint on us again, and that’s with us trying to take that part of their game away. I think it’s their balance. It’s one of the best passing teams I’ve seen, one through five, in that starting lineup in college basketball in a long time.”

Gonzaga’s 23 assists helped create those 50 paint points. So did the Zags’ 14-0 edge in fastbreak points. Gonzaga has outscored three tournament foes by 25.7 points, nearly a three-point increase over its first 26 victories.

Winning a national title with an undefeated record in the state of Indiana would be rather fitting for Gonzaga. The 1975-76 Hoosiers are the last team to complete a perfect season, and Gonzaga would be the first to do it since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

GU is first in the nation in scoring offense (91.8), field goal percentage (55.1), two-point percentage (63.9), scoring margin (23.3) and points in the paint (49.5).

Game Trends
  • Trojans are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games.
  • Trojans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
  • Trojans are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as an underdog.
  • Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Bulldogs are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 Tuesday games.
  • Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.

Expert NBA Prediction

Gonzaga 80, USC 76


I have read enough, I need to place my bet now. What to do?

Bet NBA Today
MyBookie Odds for the Games


NBA Betting Center

Updated NBA Odds | Betting Sportsbook