Great Team Effort Makes Arizona Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Arizona State

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 3, 2016 4:38 PM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 4:38 PM GMT

Sunday afternoon holds a big-time inter-state matchup between the #8 Arizona Wildcats (12-1) at the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-3) Who will be our free NCAA basketball pick?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Arizona -3.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Tip-off is scheduled for this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EST at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona. At 5Dimes,the Wildcats are a 3.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 138.5.

 

Kaleb Tarczewski is Back
Much to the dismay of Coach Hurley, 7-foot center, Kaleb Tarczewski will be back in the lineup for the Wildcats after a long time off.

Although Tarczewski isn't a big-time scorer at 8.6 points, he brings a presence on the inside, averaging 7.2 rebounds per game and a wealth of experience as a senior that has seen many stars leave the Wildcats for the NBA. This is a major plus for Arizona, but the question is will he show some rust as he hasn't played for a while?

 

Ryan Anderson
Controlling the boards and defense will be a huge part of Arizona's game as they allow just 61.8 points per game and possess one of the best players in the Pac-12 in senior forward, Ryan Anderson.

Anderson has gotten off to a fast start to his senior season, looking to play at the next level. For the season. He's averaging a hefty 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. He's not going to take a lot of shots, but he takes intelligent shots and this is an efficient Arizona squad from the field shooting-wise.

In his last 3 games, Anderson has had rebounding efforts of 12, 13, and 14. Containing Tarczewski and Anderson on the inside will be a major issue in this game for the Sun Devils, who will definitely have the crowd support.

While the level of competition hasn't been high, the Sun Devils are on a 4 game winning streak after their 72-58 loss to Kentucky.

This is not a very deep squad as 8 players on the roster log 20 minutes or more and if this gets into a track meet, endurance can be issue.

 

Team Effort
Arizona State has many contributors, but guard, Tra Holder, is the go to guy offensively at 14.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Holder is coming off of a huge game against CSU Baskersfield as he shot 4 for 5 from beyond the arc and managed to provide a huge effort on both ends of the court. Holder finished the game with 23 points, 5 rebounds ,3 assists and 3 steals. He made 14 trips to the foul line in all. I look for him to play well in front of packed house at Wells Fargo Arena.

ASU is capable of competing with the Wildcats on the boards as Gerry Blakes (6.2 rebounds). Willie Atwood (5.9 rebounds), and Eric Jacobsen (5.8 rebounds) are all fundamentally sound. This game should go down to the wire and foul shooting could be an issue. ASU shoots a pedestrian 71.6% from the charity stripe. This is their big chance to knock off a powerhouse. Take Wildcats as your NCAA basketball pick against the NCAA basketball odds.

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