Arizona To Complete Season Sweep Of UCLA

Arizona Wildcats

Willie Bee

Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 5:47 PM GMT

A juicy battle of top 5 squads provides a prime-time treat this evening when the Arizona Wildcats host the UCLA Bruins in a tight tilt on the NCAA basketball odds.

Season: 37-36-3 (-2.60)

It very easily could have been tough look-ahead spots Thursday night for both the UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats. Instead, both won by comfortable margins, the Bruins topping Arizona State by 12 in Tempe while the Wildcats were busy taking care of business down I-10 a piece in Tucson with a 90-77 win over Southern Cal.

Now it's time to see the UCLA and Arizona collide for a second time this season, the 8:15 PM (ET) tip at McKale Center to be carried by ESPN. The top-5 clash offers the Bruins an opportunity to remain in the hunt for at least a share of the conference crown, but it will take pulling off an upset, though a very mild one with the Wildcats -1 at Bookmaker where 160 is one of the highest totals on today's card.

Arizona won the first meeting five weeks ago, the 96-85 decision completing a weekend sweep through Los Angeles and part of a 15-game win streak the Wildcats pulled off. Then No. 3 in the rankings, the Bruins closed as 5 point favorites which easily vaulted past the 159 point scoreboard hurdle to extend the 'over' streak in the series to three. Even with the defeat, UCLA maintained a healthy 54-42 advantage in the rivalry.

 'Cats Get Extra Rest After This One

Head coach Steve Alford said his team was "on a good roll right now" after UCLA (25-3 straight up, 14-14 against the spread) popped the Sun Devils. Closing as 13 point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds, the Bruins just missed covering in the 87-75 decision, and beating spreads has been an issue for more than a month now at 2-6 ATS the last eight. The win did include one scary moment when freshman Lonzo Ball rolled his right ankle in the first half. He returned to the game and Alford noted the 6-6 guard would be "full force" for this contest.

Arizona (26-3 SU, 14-13-2 ATS) gets a full week off after this one before ending the regular season with a rivalry matchup at Arizona State. Sean Miller's side can clinch a tie for the Pac-12 title, but needs to win out to ensure the No. 1 seed at the conference tourney set for less than two weeks from now in Las Vegas. The good news is the Wildcats are healthy right now and coming off their best offensive performance of the month.

 

'Dogs Have Been Best Bet In Series

Last year's meeting in Tucson closed with the Wildcats laying 11½ point chalk and failing to cover the double-digit spread in an 81-75 victory. Arizona controlled the boards and committed just nine turnovers in that game, outscoring the Bruins 29-12 at the free throw line.

Arizona's win marked the 4th-straight collision between these two that ended with the underdog covering, and 11th in the last 12 meetings. I'm going to buck that trend with my free college basketball pick and lay the single point on the home team.

Free NCAAB Pick: Arizona -1 Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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