Who: Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans
When: Monday, Jan. 24 at 9 p.m. Arizona time
Where: Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
Spread (via SI Sportsbook): USC (-13)
The world of college basketball rarely has a dull moment while spinning on it's axis, and Arizona State's last-second loss to Stanford on Saturday proved just that, providing everything from questionable officiating (the Cardinal shot 41 free throws to ASU's nine) to fines and suspensions for head coach Bobby Hurley for his comments made towards officials following the game.
Saturday night's events are still being talked about as the new week approaches, yet the Sun Devils will have to quickly put their most recent loss behind them when USC plays host to ASU Monday evening.
The Sun Devils, who will be without Hurley and guard Jay Heath (who intentionally bumped into an official following the game), take on a strong 16-2 USC Trojans team that is currently ranked No. 16 in the country.
The Trojans currently have four players averaging 10 points or more per game: Forwards Isaiah Mobley (14.8) and Chevez Goodwin (12.8), and guards Boogie Ellis (12.8) and Drew Peterson (11.2).
Two of the aforementioned players (Mobley and Goodwin) average 8.8 and 7.5 rebounds per game, respectively. Mobley's 8.8 rebounds per game is currently first in the Pac-12.
The Trojans essentially rank third or higher in the Pac-12's major scoring categories, a good sign of their offensive prowess.
Their one downfall? Free-throw shooting, as the Trojans are shooting a conference-worst 61.7% from the line.
The Trojans, who began the season 13-0, have struggled as of late in Pac-12 play, winning just three of their previous five matchups heading into Monday.
Their only losses (Stanford and Oregon) are two opponents Arizona State has played fairly well, as the Cardinal just narrowly defeated the Sun Devils while ASU was able to defeat Oregon on the road in early December.
ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives USC a whopping 91.2% chance to win.
Arizona State was already considered to be at a huge disadvantage prior to stepping on the court Monday, yet it will be interesting to see how the team responds without the presence of their head coach and a player, Heath, who averages nearly 10 points per game.