The top two teams in the West clash to see who will advance to the "Final Four" when the Wisconsin Badgers meet the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday.
West Plays True to Form
The top 2 seeds have
advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Regional Final on Saturday when
the Wisconsin Badgers square off with the Arizona Wildcats. The game will take
place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with the opening tip coming at
8:45 PM ET. According to NCAA
basketball odds Arizona is a 3.0
points favorite and the posted total is 130.0. These teams haven't met since
2009 in Madison, Wisconsin with the Badgers prevailing by a score of 65-61.
How they Arrived Here
Wisconsin sandwiched a
scintillating 2nd half comeback win over Arizona between a pair of lopsided
dominating performances in the NCAA Tournament. In their opening game they
hammered American by 40-points. They followed that up by overcoming a 12.0
point halftime deficit to knock off Oregon by 8. Then in the West Regional
Semifinals on Thursday they soundly defeated
a red-hot Baylor teamby 17-points.
Arizona opened the tournament with a lackluster 9-point win over
the #16 seed Weber Sate. They quickly put any of the concerns regarding that
performance to rest after routing Gonzaga by 23. Then they survived their first
bout with adversity of the tournament when they overcame a halftime deficit,
and defeated the 4th seeded San Diego State Aztecs in the West Regional
Semifinals on Thursday.
live NCAA Tournament Betting Odds
Badgers Playing at an
The Badgers have been clicking
on all cylinders offensively over their last 5-games averaging 77.4 points per
game, shooting a torrid 49.8% from the field! and converting on a superb 40% of
their three-point attempts. The Badgers are also at a +23 rebounding advantage
in their trio of NCAA Tournament wins. Wisconsin just doesn't beat themselves
as they committed 11 turnovers or less in each of their last 12-games. An often
overlooked factor at this time of the year is free throw shooting. The Badgers
are a solid 73.9% from the charity stripe on the year.
Arizona has some legitimate concerns
heading into the Regional Final. The Wildcats are -20 in the rebounding
their first 3-games of the
"Big Dance". They entered the "Sweet 16" as the worst free
throw shooting team of the bunch at 65.5%. They've done nothing to alleviate
those concerns over their last 5- games going a dismal 63.7% from the free
throw line. One thing which isn't a concern is their stellar defensive play.
They're allowing a paltry 58-points per game on the season, and have held their
previous 5 opponents to a combined 36% shooting from the field.
Based on the fact that
Wisconsin has looked much better in their 3 tournament games than Arizona has,
the general public is almost assuredly going to side with the underdog in this
contest. Don't overlook the fact that the game will be played in Anaheim which
is a short drive from the Arizona campus, and an area with a plethora of
Wildcats alumni. In what is an otherwise close call, the overwhelming Arizona
fan support will be enough for me to side with the top seed In this spot.
Free Pick: Arizona
-3.0 over Wisconsin