Fontan played well in the Bay Area, but was not able to build off that against UCLA. He is only shooting 33 percent this season, but his assist numbers remain pretty strong. Fontan turns the ball over three times per game and although that is not terrible, you want your point guard bringing more good than bad. Both players were relatively even in the first matchup, but Arizona forced Fontan into four turnovers to only one assist. Lyons is the better player here and we like the way he performs on the road, so we're giving him the advantage.
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. J.T. Terrell (6-3, 185, Jr.)
Terrell deserves credit for what he has been able to do the past few games, as he has scored in double digits in the past six while heating up from behind the arc. Terrell's three-point shooting is a huge part of his game because if he is not hitting, he lets it affect the rest of his play and becomes pretty ineffective. If Terrell makes his first few shots, he is a dangerous player and the Trojans become much better. In the first meeting, Johnson completely shut him down and actually had one of his best offensive performances as well. The offense will not be an issue here, however, as Johnson's defense will be the key. We're guessing Johnson is able to contain Terrell, which gives him the advantage.
SF: Kevin Parrom (6-6, 220, Sr.) vs. Byron Wesley (6-5, 210, So.)
There has been a lot of inconsistency for Wesley this season. For instance, he had a streak of five games in which he scored in single digits and followed it up with six in a row in double digits. That is just the kind of player he is this season, but he does perform better at home. Wesley struggled in the first meeting and Parrom was actually able to equal him off the bench. However, we don't see either player having a big advantage here. If Parrom is able to play like he did against Washington State, Arizona is a much tougher team to beat, but it feels as if Wesley absolutely needs to play well if USC is going to win.
PF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Eric Wise (6-6, 240, Sr.)
You could make a legitimate argument that Wise played his worst game of the season in the first meeting between these two teams. Wise is unlikely to score a lot of points, but he is tough to keep off the glass. Hill has a much higher ceiling and you get the feeling that he could put together something special in his last game at USC. Wise is going to have difficulty guarding Hill on the perimeter and although his strength could also be a problem for Hill, it will likely not be easy for Wise to score inside.
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. DeWayne Dedmon (7-0, 255, Jr.)
Dedmon was a complete non-factor in the first meeting as he struggled with Tarczewski's size. Tarc actually played one of his best games of the season with 10 points and 7 rebounds in only 22 minutes. Dedmon has not scored in double digits in his past ten games and his rebounding numbers have been inconsistent due in large part to his foul trouble. If Arizona is aggressive to the basket, it is difficult to believe that Dedmon will be able to stay in the game long. Tarczewski should be able to attack Dedmon because of that foul trouble, so we see him with the advantage here.
Bench: If the game is close, USC is barely going to go to its bench and it is not likely to be a major factor in this game. Renaldo Woolridge will get some minutes and had eight points in the first meeting in clean up duty. In addition, Omar Oraby will get some time, especially if Dedmon gets in foul trouble. Both players are decent, but Arizona should be able to match them and then some with Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, and Angelo Chol.
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Bob Cantu
Cantu deserves credit for getting USC to play better basketball, but the Trojans are not winning this one based on coaching. We don't want to rip Cantu because he has probably done better than expected, but this one should be obvious.
Prediction: USC does not match up well with Arizona at all. The Wildcats are better at nearly every position and as long as Arizona defends well, the Wildcats should win here. Another 24-point victory is not going to happen, especially on the road. However, Arizona is the better team and the result should show that. We're guessing what Miller said after the Washington State game was heard loud and clear by the Arizona players. This game is probably close at the half and Arizona will pull away in the second to come up with the win.
Arizona 74, USC 66