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How and what to watch for No. 6 USC vs. No. 3 Kansas in second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament

We break down everything you need to know for Monday’s NCAA Tournament matchup between USC and Kansas. We’ve got a best bet, how to watch, and key stats for the game.

Why USC will upset Kansas

Two power conference teams moving in opposite directions get on the floor this Monday for a spot in the Sweet 16 when the No. 6 USC Trojans face the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks in what should be a classic to cap the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Game date: Sunday, March 22
Game time: 9:40 p.m.
TV channel: CBS
Location: Hinkle FIeldhouse

College Basketball Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Pick ‘em
Total: 135
Moneyline: USC -109, Kansas -109

No. 6 USC 23-7 (15-5 Pac-12)

First round result: Defeated No. 11 Drake 72-56
KenPom rating: 12 Overall, 27 Offense, 14 Defense
Leading scorer: Evan Mobley, 16.8 ppg
Key stat: USC’s defense holds opponents to just 45.4% eFG, good for 11th in America.

The Trojans had little difficulty with the MVC’s Bulldogs, pulling away late behind a 17 point, 11 rebound performance from Mobley. USC shot 50% from the floor, and held Drake to 29.4%.

The Men of Troy tend to play inside out, but will need to shoot better than their 6-18 from three-point range today if they’re to knock off KU.

No. 3 Kansas 21-8 (12-6 Big 12)

First round result: Defeated No. 14 Eastern Washington 93-84
KenPom rating: 19 Overall, 47 Offense, 7 Defense
Leading scorer: Ochai Agbaji, 14.2 ppg
Key stat: Kansas shoots just 34% from three-point range as a team, but has the 47th-best adjusted offense in the NCAA.

The Jayhawks were behind as many as 10 in the second half, but pulled away for a win by locking in defensively late. They needed a big game from David McCormack, who just joined the team yesterday after missing the Big 12 tournament due to a failed COVID-19 test. He was huge off the bench today with 22 points in 25 minutes, and KU will need all of him against a better opponent if they want to make the second weekend in the bubble.

The matchup of McCormack and Mobley will be a big one for both fans and NBA scouts. KU isn’t playing their best basketball as of right now, and USC seems to be in a rhythm of late. The bettors might agree.