Longtime Michigan State reporter, analyst evaluates Spartans’ matchup vs USC

The USC Trojans got a difficult first-round NCAA Tournament draw with a battle against Michigan State on Friday. However, this is a future Big Ten showdown with the Trojans making the move in 2024.

Ahead of the matchup, there is plenty to examine regarding the Spartans, and of course, legendary head coach Tom Izzo. Veteran Michigan State reporter and analyst Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal examined the matchup with USC. He gave a few thoughts on this game and the next round as well:

“USC’s resume has some teeth to it, but also some warts and a lot of wins in a bad year for the Pac-12,” Couch wrote. “Marquette looked scary this past week, beating UConn and Xavier, but just before that, needed overtime to escape a St. John’s team that was about to fire its coach. Both USC and Marquette lost to Wisconsin. So they can be beaten. The best news for the Spartans in trying to win the weekend: USC ranks 328th in offensive rebounding, per kenpom, and Marquette is 319th. What a break for an MSU team whose biggest bugaboo is keeping certain opponents off the glass.”

That is no secret: USC has good wins but bad losses, and giving away possessions can really hurt the Trojans. Moreover, Andy Enfield and his team are coming off a disappointing loss to Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament in a game whose final margin was deceptively close.

Rebounding is clearly a weak spot for both USC and Michigan State. That might be the central key to the game on Friday.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire