The final of the First Four games offers two 11 seeds as the USC Trojans (24-9 Overall, 10-8 PAC-12) are at the Providence Friars (20-12 Overall, 10-8 Big East). This season, the Trojans finished fifth in the PAC-12, while the Friars finished fifth in the Big East. This East Region matchup looks to be a good one. Our USC plays Providence 2017 First Four free pick has the Trojans favored by 2.5 and the over/under at 141.
The Trojans come to this contest having won their last two regular season games. Those two wins were against Washington State 87-64 and Washington 74-58. They won their first game of the PAC-12 tournament by taking down Washington 78-73. USC then lost to UCLA in a close one 76-74. The Friars ended the regular season by going on a six-game winning streak. That included upsets of #22 Butler 71-65 and #23 Creighton 68-66. In their tournament, they lost to Creighton 70-58 in the first round.
11 USC Trojans
The Trojans certainly have some guys who can score. The team is averaging 79 PPG and has four guys who are averaging 12 points per game or better. In the frontcourt, Chimezie Metu offers solid offensive and defensive chops. He’s good for 15 PPG and eight rebounds. Metu is hitting 55% of his shots. Bennie Boatwright is also delivering 15 points per game. From outside and deep, Jordan McLaughlin is connecting on 42% of his threes and putting in 13 PPG. McLaughlin, who’s averaging 5.5 APG, is a fine playmaker. Guard Elijah Stewart is averaging 12 PPG and possesses a 38% accurate three-point shot.
11 Providence Friars
The Friars come to the game averaging 70 PPG. They also have four players who are averaging double-digits. Forward Rodney Bullock leads all scorers, averaging 15.7 PPG. He’s also taking down 6.4 RPG. Also in the frontcourt is Emmitt Holt. Holt is putting in 12.4 PPG while grabbing 5.2 RPG. Guard Kyron Cartwright can score and pass. He’s putting in 11.4 PPG while making 6.7 APG. Jalen Lindsey, who’s averaging 10.2 PPG, is a 46% shooter from the floor and from downtown.
USC Plays Providence 2017 First Four Free Pick
This is a tough one to call, but we do, overall, like the Trojans. They have a few more weapons and come to this game having played UCLA very tight. Providence had a great final season run, but went nowhere in their tournament. Our USC plays Providence 2017 First Four free pick is the Trojans at -2.5 and the over at 141. The game will be played at 9:10 p.m. ET in Dayton, OH.