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USC at Cal Men's Basketball Open Thread

Time: 10:30 PM EST/7:30 PM PST
TV: FSN HD/CSN Bay Area, Radio: KFRC 1550 AM, Streams: Post links in the comments.
From one reeling LA school to the other, Cal will have a perfect chance to rebound against the Trojans. This is pretty much must-win territory for the Bears if they want any shot at winning the Pac-10--a conference champion doesn't get swept on a two-game conference homestand.

We go inside the numbers and look at both sides of the ball. All stats again courtesy of Pomeroy.

What to watch: Cal offense versus USC defense

This is the matchup everyone is looking out for--how can the Bears high powered offense (5th most efficient) matchup with the determined Trojan defense. If Cal's offense struggled against UCLA's zone defense, how do you think they'll face against the most defensively efficient team in the country? Currently 81.3, they give up 41.3% eFG (7th in the country); Cal is 50th in eFG offense at 53%. The Bears are the fastest team in the country (58th); the Trojans are one of the slowest (330rd).

So like all things, we probably come up somwehere in the middle.

  • If the Bears can shoot over 45% they probably win, barring magical USC shooting (the Trojans are 237th in offensive efficency, 231st in eFG%)
    If the Bears keep the pace going (say about 68 or more adjusted possessions), they'll be playing at a tempo that favors their game. Especially if they can force turnovers--USC has a LOT of them (23.9% of their possessions, 306th in the country), and if Cal can get running, that might give them the cushion they need.

Check out our Q&As with Conquest Chronicles before tuning into this one (Our answers to their questions and vice-versa). Here's to a split!