No. 2 Wisconsin (29-7 SU, 20-16 ATS, 19-16 O/U) looked absolutely phenomenal in their last contest while No. 1 Arizona (33-4 SU, 21-15 ATS, 13-20-2 O/U) had a lot more trouble than they bargained for before eking out a win the last time out to advance to the Elite Eight.
Now, the second-seeded Badgers look like they stand a very good chance of upsetting the top-seeded Wildcats and cash in on the value-packed March Madness West Region Final odds surrounding this intriguing matchup.
Why Arizona will win the West Regional Final and go to the Final Four?
The Wildcats will win this contest because they are far and away the better defensive team and possess far more athleticism than their counterparts in this matchup.
Arizona will also win this regional final because they have three of the best four players on the court, not to mention a chip the size of Mt. Rushmore on their collective shoulders for a perceived lack of love nationwide.
The Wildcats should also come into this contest with a lot more focus after struggling mightily in their narrow 70-64 regional semifinal win over San Diego State . Despite their close call, the defense-first Wildcats did manage to hold the Aztecs to just 38.9 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point distance, so, if nothing else, at least we know the Wildcats will play defense.
Could the Wildcats become the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions?
Of course they could, although I’m not sure they’re either focused or mature enough. The Wildcats have a bunch of talent, starting with gifted freshman forward Aaron Gordon and better-than-you-think shooting guard Nick Johnson and once again, they play defense, so they will have a chance to beat any team they play.
Why Wisconsin will win the West Regional Final and go to the Final Four?
Wisconsin will win this regional final because they’re far more skilled at putting the ball in the basket and have a front-court that can actually bother Arizona ‘s active front line.
The Badgers shot a blistering 52.0 percent in routing Baylor in the regional semis and got a fine performance from their best player, forward Frank Kaminsky. Wisconsin has four players that averaged double figures during the regular season, but they’ve really got six guys that can put the ball in the hole consistently. Wisconsin has five players on its roster that shot 36.0 percent or better from downtown during the regular season so leaving any of their shooters open usually doesn’t work out too well for their opponents. The Badgers also hit the glass very well, so they won’t be intimidated by Arizona ‘s size in the frontcourt.
Could the Badgers become the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions?
If Wisconsin wins this contest, I say why not? Sure, Wisconsin isn’t very athletic, but they’re quite cerebral in their approach and generally know how to stay in games by not throwing the ball away. Besides, this team can shoot the lights out and in what has been one of the craziest March Madness tournaments in recent memory, I wouldn’t rule out anything…although I will say it’s a bit of a long shot.
And the winner is…
I think this will likely be the most closely contested regional final matchup this weekend, but in the end, I have got to back the Arizona Wildcats to win this contest and narrowly cover the March Madness West Region Final Odds.
I believe the Wildcats got a big enough scare the last time out that they will come out for this game with far more focus and energy than they’ve previously shown. By no means do I expect this to be a cakewalk victory for either team, but in the end, I like Arizona ‘s roster – and defense-first approach a bit better than Wisconsin ‘s ability to shot the ball.
I think Arizona ‘s perimeter defenders will close out on Wisconsin ‘s three-point shooters and harass them into a bit of a sub par shooting performance to narrowly cover the odds in this one.
Wisconsin is 4-1 ATS in its last five games, but Arizona has gone 4-0 ATS in its last four games against Big Ten ballclubs and an impressive 7-2 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games.
I like the Arizona Wildcats to win and narrowly cover the spread!