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The Arizona Wildcats will host the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday afternoon in Pac-12 Conference action. Both teams were in action and picked up wins on Thursday night. Colorado improved to 3-1 with a 68-61 road victory against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Arizona snapped a two-game losing streak with a 93-77 win against Utah. The Wildcats are now 2-2 in the Pac-12.
Last season these teams met twice, with both sides protecting their home floors. Arizona defeated Colorado 64-56 on Jan. 3, 2019, and Colorado returned the favor and beat Arizona 67-60 on Feb. 17.
According to the College Basketball Power Index, Arizona ranks 10th in the nation, and Colorado ranks 27th in BPI.
Colorado racking up winsWith the victory over Arizona State, Colorado has now won seven of its last eight games, including wins over then #4 Oregon and #13 Dayton. At Arizona State, the Buffaloes got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 12-3 just 5:23 into the game. With the game tied at half-time, the Buffaloes used a 16-4 run to open the second half and take control of the game. Tyler Bey led the Buffaloes with 19 points and eight rebounds, Lucas Siewart, a 6’10 senior from Brazil, came off the bench and drained four three-pointers to finish with 14 points.
“It was the epitome of winning ugly, which sometimes you have to do on the road,” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle’s said after the game. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys to not get their heads down when we struggled early offensively, especially in the first half. I was a great, great win.”
The Buffaloes have been a reliable defensive team, holding opponents to 61.2 points per game, which ranks 26st in the nation. On offense, the Buffaloes are averaging 72.6 points per game and shooting 36.6% from three-point range.
McKinley Wright IV and Tyler Bey both lead the Buffaloes in scoring with 13.4 points per game on the season. Bey also leads the Buffaloes with 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Wright IV leads the team with 5.0 assists per game.
Arizona dominates UtahAfter starting the season 9-0, the Arizona Wildcats have dropped five of their last eight games. The losses came at Baylor 65-58, Gonzaga 84-80, St. John's 70-67, at Oregon 74-73 in overtime, and at Oregon State 82-65. Arizona bounced back from back-to-back losses, including the disappointing loss to Oregon State by blowing out Utah.
The Wildcats led 52-28 on their way to a 93-77 victory over the Utes. Arizona shot 33 of 69 (47.8%) from the field and 15 of 29 (51.7%) from three-point range in the rout. Zeke Nnaji led the Wildcats with 24 points and eight rebounds in the victory.
For the season Nnaji, a 6’11 freshman averages 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, leading the Wildcats in both categories. Two other freshmen lead the supporting cast for the Wildcats; Nico Mannion and Josh Green. Mannion averages 14.1 points and leads the team with 6.2 assists per game. Green adds 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
On offense, the Wildcats are averaging 81.3 points per game, shot 48.3% from the field and 38.1% from three-point range, ranking among the nation’s top 23 in each category. Defensively, the Wildcats are holding opponents to just 66.4 points per game.
- Wildcats are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Buffaloes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Buffaloes are a strong tough defensive team and have been playing very. The Arizona Wildcats are super talented but led by three freshmen. I am taking the toughness and experience of Colorado to cover on the road in a game the Buffaloes could win outright.
Full-Game Total Pick
Although both teams are strong defensively, each side also ranks among the top 50 three-point shooting teams in the country. Colorado has played to the over in six of their last seven games, and Arizona has played to over-the-total in their previous three games. With just one day off for rest, defensive fatigue could also be a factor, since neither team has played many games with less than 48 hours of rest.