In a meeting of two teams searching for some level of success, the USC Trojans and Nebraska Cornhuskers hook up for a Big Ten/Pac-12 basketball battle at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.

Trojans, 'Huskers Battle on Hardcourt 

Last Week's CBB Record: 5-7 

In a meeting of two of the most storied programs in college football history … oh, wait a second, it says “NCAAB.” 

Reboot intro. 

NCAA bettingIn a meeting of two teams searching for some level of success, the USC Trojans and Nebraska Cornhuskers hook up for a Big Ten/Pac-12 basketball battle at the Devaney Center in Lincoln Monday night (8 pm ET, Big Ten Network). 

Can Southern Cal climb back above the .500 mark with a road victory? Or can Nebraska continue its surprisingly good start to this season with another inter-conference win? 

Trojans-Huskers Breakdown 

Nebraska, after going 12-18 last year, returns just one starter for its first season under new Coach Miles, who went 39-25 with an NCAA tournament bid over his last two seasons at Colorado State.

Miles' main job at the moment is trying to replace 41 points and 13 boards per game that left after last season. 

In the very early phases of trying to build this program into something, the Huskers are good bets to finish last in the Big Ten this season. 

That being said, Nebraska is off to a solid start to this season, winning five of its first six games. However, they also haven't exactly been playing a Murderer's Row of a schedule. NU opened with a win over Southern University, a two-point victory over Valparaiso and wins over Nebraska-Omaha and Tulane.

The 'Huskers then lost to a mediocre Kent State team 74-60, but last time out Nebraska pulled a minor upset, winning at Wake Forest 79-63, helping the Big Ten pull off a split of its challenge series vs. the ACC. The Corn Huskers shot 51 percent from the floor vs. the Deacons and committed just eight turnovers. 

Nebraska comes into Monday's game on six days off. 

On the other side of this match-up USC returns almost everybody from a team that staggered through an injured-plagued 6-26 campaign last year. Plus, they've added the services of several transfers who will play plenty this year. Who knows yet, if this will help with our USC NCAAB picks.

According to some “experts” we consulted the Trojans have a decent chance to make a run at a top-four finish in the Pac-12 this season, which might get them back to the Big Dance. 

USC is off to a 3-3 start to this season, with victories over Long Beach State and Texas and losses to Illinois, Marquette and San Diego State. So at least the Trojans have been playing a decent early-season schedule.

Southern Cal fell down 27-8 in the early going last Sunday vs. the No. 25 Aztecs, then rallied to take a lead half-way through the second half. But a couple of technical fouls in the final minutes cost the Trojans dearly, “aiding” in their eventual defeat. 

The Trojans come into Monday night's game on a full week's rest. 

These teams met one year ago, when the 'Huskers went out to LA and outlasted the Trojans 64-61 in overtime. 

Statistically Speaking 

USC, which has been starting two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore, is shooting just 40 percent from the floor so far this season, 33 percent from 3-point land and 69 percent from the FT line. But at the other end of the court the Trojans have held opponents to less than 42 percent FG shooting. 

Nebraska, which has been starting three seniors, a junior and a freshman, is shooting 46 percent from the field, just 30 percent from long range and 68 percent from the line. Defensively the 'Huskers have limited foes to 43 percent FG shooting.

Trojans-'Huskers Betting Line and Trends

As of Monday AM some books, such as Pinnacle, were listing USC as a two-point odds favorite for this game, while other shops, like 5Dimes, were giving Nebraska 2.5 points as home dogs.

Also, most betting outlets opened the the OVER/UNDER on this game at right around 118, then bumped it to 119.

These two teams are a combined 5-2 on the totals this season, not because they're offensively efficient or terrible on defense, but because their O/Us have been listed fairly low, in the mid-120s or so.

Trojans-'Huskers Free NCAAB Pick

Early-season records aside, we like the Trojans' long-term prospects for this season more than the 'Huskers. USC has played a decent schedule this season, while Nebraska hasn't really played anybody. So, for our free college hoops pick for Monday we'll take USC at the -2 offered at Pinnacle.