Mike Montgomery's California Golden Bears will be at home tonight and can take a giant step forward to claiming the Pac-10 title against Sean Miller's Arizona Wildcats.
Thursday’s Pac-10 action is headlined by the conference-leading California Golden Bears hosting the Arizona Wildcats. These foes met on January 31, in Tucson, with the Wildcats pulling off a 76-72 upset as two-point underdogs.
Since then, both squads have headed in opposite directions. Cal has filled wallets at 4-2, SU and ATS, while Arizona has disappointed its backers with 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS skids.
The Golden Bears split two matchups last week on the road with a surprising 80-64 loss at Oregon State as six-point faves, but bounced back in a 64-49 victory at Oregon, covering ATS as 6 ½-point chalk.
‘Totals’ split for Mike Montgomery’s men on the trip north of the state line, but the ‘over’ has been a profitable 7-4-1 in Haas Pavilion.
Forward Theo Robertson led Cal in scoring against the Beavers and Ducks, averaging 15.5 PPG in both matchups. The native Californian will be looking forward to a rematch with the Wildcats, as he logged a season-high 27 points against them last month.
Cal has been a profitable 13-1 SU and 9-4 ATS on its home floor. Its only loss came against UCLA last month, getting shocked in overtime, 76-75, as a 14 ½-point favorite.
Montgomery urged fans to attend stating, “We need every seat in Haas Pavilion to be full for these two games,” referring to Cal’s last two home dates of the season.
Arizona was defeated at home last weekend by arch-rival, Arizona State, 73-69. The Wildcats failed to cover ATS as two-point dogs, and allowed the Sun Devils to shoot 51.9 percent from the field.
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Both squads combined to drain 50 percent of their shots beyond the arch, raising the 142 combined points ‘over’ the ‘total’ of 130.
Wildcats’ guard Nic Wise led his troops in scoring with 18 points, logging his 10th straight game with double digits. Teammate Kevin Parrom pulled in a season-high 10 rebounds.
Sean Miller’s squad has struggled away from home with a 4-8 SU record, but has gotten the money at 7-5 ATS. ‘Totals’ have split in these contests.
Wise and Company were not clever enough in Berkeley last season, suffering a 69-55 loss as 4 ½-point underdogs. Arizona’s 12 turnovers compared to six giveaways from Cal helped seal its defeat.
The Wildcats hit only three of 13 shots from downtown, helping the 124 combined points plunge well ‘under’ the 141-point ‘total.’
However, Arizona won its prior two road meetings against Cal, collecting ATS in both matchups. The Wildcats are on a 4-2, SU and ATS, run against the Golden Bears, overall.
The ‘under’ has cashed at 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the rivals when Cal has been the host.
Jerome Randle was hot for the Golden Bears in their last two home dates, averaging 28.5 PPG against Washington and Washington State. The senior guard is among the top four Pac-10 leaders in scoring (19.2 PPG), and assists (4.4 APG).
Cal leads the conference in shooting with 47.2 percent of shots connecting. Forward Jamal Boykin has hit 58.9 percent of his attempts, ranking him third in the Pac-10.
The Wildcats’ Derrick Williams is not far behind Boykin, shooting 58.7 percent.
The Golden Bears opened as 12-point favorites, according to DonBest.com, but early action on the Wildcats dropped the number a half-point. Bookmaker initially set its ‘total’ at 147.
This clash tips at 9 p.m. (ET), and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.