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USC avoided a NCAA Tournament snub hangover with a hard-fought 103-98 double overtime victory over UNC Ashville in the first round of the NIT. The No. 1-seeded Trojans now will try to move another step closer to a trip to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals when they host No. 4 seed Western Kentucky on Monday night.
The Trojans won their opener despite the fact 6-11 junior forward Chimezie Metu, a potential first-round NBA Draft pick who leads the team in scoring (15.7 points per game), rebounding (7.4) and blocks (59), decided to sit out the game to avoid the possibility of injury before the draft. He nearly had some company in senior guard Elijah Stewart who admitted he seriously considered joining Metu on the sidelines until he found out senior point guard Jordan McLaughlin would play.
"I really didn't want to play in it," Stewart, who ended up scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds in 42 minutes, said. "I thought I'd just get a last few games in with (McLaughlin), go out on a good note." Western Kentucky bounced back from a tough 67-66 loss to Marshall in the Conference USA Tournament title game to defeat visiting Boston College 79-62 in the NIT's first round Tuesday night.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Southern California Trojans Betting Odds and Predictions
Free Betting Odds
|623||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||
|624||Southern California Trojans||
Free Betting Predictions
|Match Result: Southern California Trojans (-5 and over/under 151)|
|Total Points O/U - Western Kentucky : Over 74(-115)
|Total Points O/U - USC: Over 77½(-125)
Special Offer and Free Bets
Betting Odds Trends
|Western Kentucky is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games|
|Western Kentucky is 18-5 SU in its last 23 games|
|Western Kentucky is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games on the road|
|Western Kentucky is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games on the road|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Western Kentucky's last 5 games on the road|
|USC is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 10 of USC's last 11 games|
|USC is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games at home|
|The total has gone UNDER in 7 of USC's last 8 games at home|