Today’s Pac-12 showdown between the fan favorite No. 7 Arizona Wildcats and the 13th-ranked Utah Utes could turn into one of the top contests of the season, even better than Cuse vs Duke and the Hogs vs the Wildcats.
What’s at stake: First-place in the Pac-12, seeding in postseason tournaments, possibly the conference title.
“This is really what it’s all about,” UA coach Sean Miller said Friday. “You want to play in these games. We know (Saturday) will be one of them.”
— sltribsports (@sltribsports) February 27, 2015
A Closer Look At The Arizona at Utah Men’s BB Odds, My Free Pick & How To Bet
Matchup: (7) Arizona Wildcats at (13) Utah Utes
Date: Feb. 28, 2015
Start Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Stadium: Jon M. Huntsman Center
TV Info: ESPN
Radio: Arizona Vs Utah
Point Spread: Utah Utes -1.5
Game Total: N/A
Arizona Will Cover the Spread If
The Wildcats dominate the boards like in the last game.
Arizona throttled Utah in Tucson in the first matchup between these two teams this season. The Wildcats beat Utah 69 to 51 as a -5.5 point home favorite. One of the reasons for the victory was the differential in rebounds. Arizona pummeled the Utes on the glass. Arizona grabbed 38 rebounds to Utah’s 17. They brilliantly boxed out on missed shots and held the usually very good rebounding Utes to a ridiculous 3 offensive boards. What was brilliant about Arizona’s rebounding performance is that not a single player grabbed double figures in rebounding.
Kaleb Tarczewski grabbed 5 boards. Stanley Johnson, Arizona’s super frosh, pulled down 9. Brandon Ashley had 8 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson grabbed 7. Dustan Ristic pitched in 5 and T.J. McConnell grabbed 3. If Arizona rebounds that well in the rematch, they should find a way to cover the spread.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) February 27, 2015
Arizona’s Projected Starting Lineup: Kaleb Tarczewski (C), Stanley Johnson (F), Brandon Ashley (F), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (F), T.J. McConnell (G).
Utah Will Cover the Spread If
Utah can get more out of its players not named Delon Wright.
As good as Delon Wright is, and he’s very good, he can’t single handedly carry the Utes in every game. Versus Arizona the first time around, Wright made 4 out of 9 shots. He made 1 out of 2 three-pointers and finished the game with 10 points. It was 4.3 points less than his average.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) February 27, 2015
When Wright isn’t dominating, and Arizona appears to know how to keep Wright in check, other players on Utah’s team have to step it up. Brandon Taylor scored 12 and Jordan Loveridge scored 11, but the rest of Utah’s squad was terrible. Forward Chris Reyes scored a single point. Jakob Poeltl scored 6. Both guys have to be much better this time around because Arizona’s front line is extremely talented.
Unless Utah provides a full team effort, meaning that everybody contributes, the same result, a lop-sided Arizona victory, is likely to occur. Utah has to play as a team in order to cover the spread against the more talented Wildcats.
Utah’s Projected Starting Lineup: Jordan Loveridge (F), Chris Reyes (F), Jakob Poeltl (F), Delon Wright (G), Brandon Taylor (G).
Final Score Prediction – Arizona Wildcats 67, Utah Utes 62