The UCLA Bruins can stake a claim to first place in the conference going into the last week of the year if they can find a way to take care of the Arizona Wildcats tonight.
The University of Arizona Wildcats can wrap
up at least a share of the conference title and should be the No. 1 seed in the
Pac-10 Tournament if it can win this one, but it certainly isn't going to be an
easy task. Tipoff is set for 4:00 ET.
Wacky Wildcats Need to be Offensive
It's not that
Thursday's road loss at the USC Trojans was all that unexpected for the
Wildcats -- after all, they were just a pick 'em on the NCAA basketball odds.
However, the unexpected part about this whole thing was that a team that is
averaging 77.6 PPG shot just 19-of-53 from the floor and scored just 57 points
in a game that it was just never really all that into.
The loss snapped a
great stretch of eight straight wins for Arizona, which clearly moved up from
bubble dwellers to locks as perhaps even as high as a Top 4 seed for March
Madness. The Cats were 6-1-1 ATS on that run as well, their best stretch of the season, and a good run for NCAA Basketball bettors as well.
can't have the same type of a game in this one that he had on Thursday. He only
scored eight points and had 11 boards in the loss, and he shot just 3-for-11
from the floor. Williams is averaging 19.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG this year, and this
was definitely a dud of a game that cannot be repeated.
Superstar Starting Five Paces Bruins
UCLA isn't the
deepest team in the world, but it knows that its starting five is good enough
to carry it to the NCAA Tournament. This is the type of win that would really
nail down that bid once and for all, and it is one that the Bruins are going to
do everything they can to get.
Malcolm Lee is the
team's top scorer at 13.7 PPG this year, but Reeves Nelson isn't all that far behind
either at 13.5 PPG. Tyler Honeycutt, who dropped 13 on the Arizona State Sun
Devils on Thursday night, is averaging 12.7 PPG. Honeycutt is also averaging
7.4 RPG, making him one of the three players on this squad that are averaging
at least six boards on the average night. Joshua Smith and Lazeric Jones round
out the big time scorers for UCLA at 10.6 and 10.2 PPG respectively.
Something Brewing with the Bruins on
the NCAA Basketball Odds
UCLA has dropped
four of the last five both SU and ATS in this series, but this is the day that
all of this is going to change. The home team has gone 6-1 ATS over the course
of the last seven meetings in this series, including when Arizona scored an
85-74 victory in the desert just four weeks ago when these two teams locked
The bottom line is
that the game means significantly more to the Bruins than it does to the
Wildcats, and whereas Arizona is pretty much a team that relies on one man to
do a ton of damage, UCLA has a lot of ways to beat you. Follow the betting odds on this ons and back the Bruins.