The 6th-ranked Arizona Wildcats have a shot at avenging their only Pac-12 loss when they host the Oregon State Beavers in a college basketball odds clash Friday night in Tucson.
A quick check of the remaining schedule for the Arizona Wildcats might lead one to believe they won't face an upset bid for another month when a trip to face the Utah Utes is in store on February 28.
Sean Miller knows better, however, and all he has to do is remind his team that's what everyone thought when the Wildcats went to Corvallis about a month ago only to come home with a loss to the Oregon State Beavers, the Wildcats' only setback so far in Pac-12 play. Arizona will get a chance for payback Friday evening when they host the Beavers in a rematch of that January 11 contest.
The 10 PM (ET) tilt on the Pac-12 Network is a lopsided affair according to the college basketball odds where backing Arizona means giving up 17.
Upset Stops 7-Game Skid In Series For Beavers
Seeing Arizona at the top of the Pac-12 race isn't much of a shock for a team that entered the season ranked second in the nation and prohibitive -250 chalk to win the conference title. And it was no surprise when the 'Cats were asked to cover 10 points at Oregon State a few weeks ago, the Beavers 60/1 Pac-12 choices in the same college basketball futures odds, especially since Arizona has been double-digit chalk in five if eight league tilts.
The Beavers ended up hanging right with the Wildcats the entire game before a late bucket gave them the 58-56 decision, one of the season's biggest upsets so far. Arizona entered the evening with a 7-game winning streak vs. Oregon State, but the offense suffered its worst shooting performance since around Thanksgiving, the scoring duo of Stanley Johnson and Brandon Ashley limited to just 12 points between them.
Arizona still owns a healthy 58-21 series advantage over the Beavers, who haven't won in Tucson since February 2010. Three of the last four on this floor failed to reach the totals.
Robbins Still Out For OSU
This week's trip through the Grand Canyon State did not start well for Oregon State (14-6 straight up, 12-6-1 against the spread). The Beavers watched an even start to the game turn very sour five minutes into the first half at Arizona State, trailed by 17 at the half and never recovered in the 73-55 loss as 7 point road 'dogs.
The defeat stopped a 3-game win streak for OSU, and the final score went 11 'over' the total to halt a 6-game 'under' run.
It was their fifth game to be without Victor Robbins after the junior was suspended on January 15 for unspecified violations. The 6-7 forward still has five more games to go in Wayne Tinkle's doghouse, and was second on the team averaging 10.3 points per game.
'Cats Crush Ducks With Big Hump Day Performance
Arizona (19-2 SU, 12-9 ATS) has strung together five consecutive wins and 4-straight covers since falling to Oregon State on January 11. and the Wildcats are coming off one of their best offensive performances of the year Wednesday night in a 90-56 blowout of Oregon. Six players scored in double figures, paced by Gabe York's 16 off the bench, and the team shot a collective 49% or better for the 4th-straight game.
Johnson and Ashley have rediscovered their shooting touches during that span to lead the way. The pair is averaging 29+ points together, Johnson accounting for nearly 18 a game.
Conventional wisdom says if Arizona State can beat the Beavers by 18, Arizona can beat 'em by 17. And sometimes, conventional wisdom is the smart way to go, so I'll make my free NCAA Basketball pick on the Wildcats getting revenge by a wide margin.
My Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona -17