USC Basketball Won't Go Far in March Madness Unless They Fix this One Glaring Problem

The USC Trojans have struggled with their free throw shooting so far this season.
The USC Trojans have struggled with their free throw shooting so far this season. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans were one of the final undefeated teams left in college basketball before being upset by Stanford on Tuesday night.

Due to their early season success, their odds at WynnBET have taken a significant leap. They're now +5000 (bet $100 to profit $5,000) to win the National Championship and +1000 (bet $100 to profit $1,000) to make it to the Final Four.

With an 11-1 start, you may be tempted to place a bit of money down on their futures, but I'm here to tell you to hold off on that.

USC Struggles on the Free Throw Line

USC's numbers are strong on both the offensive and defensive side of the court, but there's one key area that the struggle in: Free throws.

As of writing this article, USC ranks 354th in free throw percentage. That's fifth last in the entire country. Only Sam Houston State, McNeese State, California State Bakersfield, and Nicholls State ranks worse. That's not good company to be in.

The Trojans are hitting their free throws at a rate of just 60.7%.

Now, you might think that's a silly reason not to bet on a team, but you'd be wrong. Sure, if they have a commanding lead, it's not going to make much of a difference. But we all know how close games end up being in conference tournaments and March Madness games.

Imagine USC is up two points with a minute left in the game and their opponent fouls them to send them to the line. Do you trust a 60% free throw shooting team to hit clutch shots from the line to seal the game? I certainly don't.

In fact, dating all the way back to 2006, only two national championship teams shot worse than 70% from the free throw line. Duke in 2015-2016 shot 69.6% from the line, and Florida in 2006-2007 shot 69.0%. Still, both marks much higher than USC this season.

It may seem insignificant, but unless USC can fix their free throw shooting, you should stay far away from betting on them to win a championship.