Texas - USC Preview
USC Trojans (5) Vs. Texas Longhorns (4)
Sunday, 3/18 @ 5:15
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Texas -2.5
The USC Trojans played tough defense under the basket and shot with accuracy to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first round by a score of 77- 60. For Texas, it took the final five minutes of the game for the Longhorns to pull away and secure a victory over the pesky New Mexico State Aggies. The final was 79- 67.
USC shot 50% from the floor with a 30% success rate from three-point land. They were almost perfect from the foul line, hitting 23 of 25 (92%). For the Trojans, freshman forward Taj Gibson was both a defensive and offensive force. Along with scoring 18 points, he took down 8 rebounds, blocked 3 shots and made 2 steals. Freshman guard Daniel Hackett put in 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. He also led the team in assists with 5 and made 2 steals. Junior swing Nick Young hit for 18 points and had 7 rebounds. The Trojans out rebounded the Razorbacks 34- 24.
In their round one contest, Texas played a disciplined game, giving only 14 fouls and hitting 96% of their free throws. They sent the Aggies to the line only 12 times and New Mexico State hit 10. Texas was 25 of 26 from the line and that equaled more than the margin of victory.
For the Longhorns, freshman guard/forward Kevin Durant was simply outstanding, with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and a blocked shot. Freshman guard D.J. Augustin orchestrated plays, notching 7 assists. He also had 2 steals, 3 rebounds and 19 points. Sophomore guard A.J. Abrams put in 16 and took down 3 rebounds. Off the bench, sophomore swingman Connor Atchley played 28 minutes contributing 7 points and 6 rebounds. Overall it was a solid team effort led by some extraordinarily talented players.
A battle between the number 4 and 5 seeds usually includes some tenacity and clutch performances. Durant and Augustin, two frosh, will be key for the Longhorns, while Gibson and Young will be important if the Trojans are to win.