The USC Trojans will be attempting to sweep the Arizona State Sun Devils in their home arena, the Galen Center, on Wednesday night. The Trojans won the first matchup against their PAC-12 rivals, 73-64, on January 9th.
Since then, the USC Trojans have won 9 of their 10 games and are ranked number 17 in this week's AP Top-25 Poll.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils have gone 4-3 and are 5.5 games behind the Trojans for first place in the conference.
Fixture: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. USC Trojans - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Galen Center, Los Angeles, California
USC Trojans Preview
The USC Trojans are one of the nation's hottest teams. They have won six consecutive games and took control of the Pac-12 conference with an 11-2 record. The Trojans' play this term has put them in a position to earn a regular-season title for the first time since 1984.
The secret to the USC Trojans' impressive season this year has been their suffocating defense. They are ranked in the top ten for defensive efficiency, allowing 89.4 points per 100 possessions, via Kenpom.com.
If the Trojans can continue to hold their opponents to under 70 points, as they have in every match during their current seven-game winning streak, they will have no issues defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils on Wednesday night.
Key Player - Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley is the key player for the USC Trojans. His play has taken the country by storm and has him currently projected to go number two in the 2021 NBA draft behind Cade Cunningham.
The freshman forward is averaging 16.6 points and nine rebounds on 58.8% shooting. His seven-foot frame and 7.5" wingspan caused problems for the Arizona State Sun Devils' defense in the first matchup this season, as he recorded a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds on 71.4% shooting.
Expect Mobley to dominate the Sun Devils again on Wednesday, as they do not have a starter over 6'8".
USC Trojans' Predicted Lineup
F Isaiah Mobley, F Evan Mobley, G Tahj Eaddy, G Drew Peterson, G Isaiah White
Arizona State Sun Devils Preview
The Arizona State Sun Devils are coming off a 75-73 win over the Oregon State Beavers, marking their third victory in four games.
They were full of energy during the win, starting from the opening tip. Their high-pressure defense forced a total of 15 turnovers, 11 of which came in the first half.
Here's what Arizona State Sun Devils' head coach Bobby Hurley had to say when asked about his team's defense, via MSNsports:
"I thought our pressure affected them[Oregeon State Beavers], we were able to get a couple of steals."
If the Sun Devils can maintain their high-pressure defense against the USC Trojans for 40 minutes and force uncharacteristic turnovers, they will have a chance at an upset.
Key Player - Remy Martin
Remy Martin has been the reason behind the Arizona State Sun Devils' recent success. In the last four games, the senior guard is averaging 23.8 points and 3.5 assists.
Martin was forced to miss the first matchup against the USC Trojans this season due to health and safety protocols.
If he can produce his most recent scoring output, the Arizona State Sun Devils will have an opportunity to earn their fourth win in five days.
Arizona State Sun Devils' Predicted Lineup
F Kimani Lawrence, G Holland Woods, G Remy Martin, G Jaelen House, G Caleb Christopher
Arizona State vs USC Match Prediction
The USC Trojans will have a match-up advantage in the paint against the Arizona State Sun Devils with Evan Mobley. He will likely control the boards and earn easy baskets inside the perimeter due to his height advantage.
This will give the Trojans the edge, allowing them to sweep the Sun Devils on Wednesday night.
According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, the USC Trojans have an 86.4% chance of beating the Arizona State Sun Devils on Wednesday.
Where to watch Arizona State vs USC
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.