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USC basketball vs. Kansas: Jayhawks to know before the game

By Alicia de Artola
Mar 22, 2021, 11:25 AM PDT
USC basketball opponent Jalen Wilson of Kansas.
USC basketball opponent Jalen Wilson of Kansas. | David Purdy/Getty Images
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Which Kansas players does USC basketball need to be aware of going into their NCAA Tournament battle with the Jayhawks?

It's time for USC basketball to prove they're for real. It's also time for Kansas to prove the doubters wrong.

The Trojans and Jayhawks will meet on Monday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.

To learn some things from the Kansas side of things going into the Round of 32 matchup, we chatted with Conner Becker of Through The Phog.

USC vs. Kansas from the Jayhawk perspective...

Q: How important is it that Kansas is likely to get Jalen Wilson back?

A: While a starting five-member, Wilson has missed a lot of time since his last performance against Oklahoma. He performed at a slover pace against the Sooners, only finding nine points which included a three-point make. His presence on Monday can be cosidered vital by some fans, but I wouldn't cund on his best basketball.

Q: Why did Kansas struggle with Eastern Washington. What ultimately got them out of trouble? Which version of the Jayhawks are we more likely to see Monday night?

A: Kansas failed to protect the perimeter, which allowed for the Eagles to gain an offensive edge. If the Jayhawks can't stop USC at the three-point line, it'll prove to be another tough day defensively for KU.

Q: Fill in the blank: "In order to beat USC, __________ must have a big game."

A: David McCormack.

Q: Who is the Jayhawks' unsung hero who could make an unexpected difference vs. USC?

A: Keep your eyes out for Dajuan Harris. While young, this developing player has made one of the best mpressions on the roster in 2021. With his tempo, things can change with the blink of an eye.

Q: Do you think the oddsmakers are correct to make USC the favorite?

A: I believe so, statistically. However, we've seen Kansas battle against the odds before and USC should be no exception for a great game. Kansas will need to find consistent scoring though, which will prove difficult considering the Trojans' well-rounded defensive presence.

USC has a clear path to the Sweet 16 and beyond. Now that Oregon has knocked off No. 2 seeded Iowa, an Elite Eight berth is close enough to taste as well. The pressure is greater than ever, but the Trojans can't get ahead of themselves with a college basketball powerhouse waiting in Indianapolis.

Next. One Good Reason USC Won't Upset Kansas. dark

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