Tip-off at the Galen Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST on the FOX Sports 1. KenPom gives the Wildcats a 54 percent chance of winning, but here is what we think will happen. Be sure to leave your predictions in the comment section below.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 76-73
USC is coming off its best performance of the season, running past rival UCLA at home. The Trojans have won five straight at sparsely attended Galen Center, but with Arizona in town the crowd figures to have a lot of red and blue in it. That can only help the Wildcats, who despite great fan support in the Los Angeles area often struggle on this road trip. Chase Jeter being a question mark doesn’t help Arizona’s cause, but it managed to hold off a good Oregon State team without him and should still have enough to win here.
Ezra Amacher — Arizona wins 71-68
The obvious question going into this is how productive will Chase Jeter be coming off his injury scare against Oregon State. If Jeter is back to his normal self, then I think Arizona has a solid edge in this one. Jeter playing at less than full strength could give USC a big advantage down low. Trojans center Nick Rakocevic is coming off a 21 point, 12 rebound effort against UCLA.
Even with Jeter playing healthy, the Wildcats will need solid shooting to stay on pace with USC’s Bennie Boatwright. USC collectively is second in the conference in three-point shooting.
All in all, I think Arizona’s depth, though not great, will wear down USC down the stretch.
Zant Reyez — Arizona wins 78-76
The ‘Cats start the trip off with a good win. If Chase Jeter doesn’t play, I’d think USC can outlast Arizona.
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 72-68
For me, it all depends on Chase Jeter’s status. If he plays, the Wildcats win. If he doesn’t, they lose. USC is not a good team, but its frontcourt of Rakocevic and Boatwright will do some serious damage if they do not have to deal with Jeter’s size and length.
Either way, pretty much every conference game will be a grind for Arizona this season, and I expect this one to be no different.
In case you missed it, I outlined all the things I will be watching for in this game here.