College Basketball Preview: UCLA Bruins at #6 Arizona Wildcats

UCLA Bruins at #6 Arizona Wildcats
Thursday, January 24, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
McKale Center – Tucson, Arizona
Opening Line: Arizona -9
Current Line: Arizona -9
Opening Total: 147
Current Total: 145 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -400 / UCLA +330
Current Money Line: Arizona -450 / UCLA +370

Arizona is a 9 point favorite at home against rival UCLA Thursday. Both teams have one loss in the Pac 12.

Arizona is a 9 point favorite at home against rival UCLA Thursday. Both teams have one loss in the Pac 12.

The 16-1 Arizona Wildcats are #6 in the AP Poll and 4-1 in the Pac 12. They take on the UCLA Bruins Thursday night who are 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the Pac 12. Both teams suffered their only conference loss to 5-0 Oregon, the only undefeated team left in the conference. All other teams in the conference have at least 2 losses.

UCLA leads the series 49-37, but Arizona is 22-14 in Tucson. Arizona has won 17 of the last 31 in the series, including a 2-1 mark last season. Both teams won at home, and Arizona won 66-58 in the Pac 12 quarterfinals in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

UCLA is coached by Ben Howland. The Bruins have losses to Georgetown in Brooklyn, at home against Cal Poly and Oregon Saturday 76-67 , and to San Diego St in Anaheim. Before the Oregon loss, UCLA had won 10 straight games.  The Bruins have key wins over Indiana St, UC-Irvine, James Madison, Georgia in Brooklyn, Texas in Houston, Long Beach St, Fresno St, Missouri, Cal Stanford and Oregon St, and at Utah and Colorado. UCLA is 7-11 ATS and the total is 5-7 this season.

UCLA is outscoring teams 78-68 this season. The Bruins are #22 in scoring. UCLA is #25 in field goal percentage at 47.6% from the field and 35.2% from 3 point range. UCLA makes 72% of their free throws. The Bruins average 38.2 rebounds and give up 32.9 per game. Bruin opponents are shooting 41.4% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. UCLA averages 17 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.

Guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad averages 17.9 points, and 5.1 rebounds a game. The freshman missed the first 3 games of the season due to being ineligible, but has been sensational since then. Guard Jordan Adams averages 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Forward Travis Wear averages 12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Kyle Anderson averages 9.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.6 steals. Both Adams and Anderson are probable with food poisoning. Guard Norman Powell averages 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Forward David Wear averages 7.1 points, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Guard Larry Drew II averages 5.8 points, 8.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Nick Kazemi hasn’t played yet this season, and is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Arizona is coached by Sean Miller. The only loss for Arizona came at Oregon.  The Wildcats have key home wins over UTEP, Long Beach St, Southern Miss, Florida, Utah and Colorado, along with road wins over Texas Tech, Clemson, Oregon St and Arizona St Saturday 71-54. The Wildcats also won a tournament in Hawaii with wins over Miami-(FL) and San Diego St. Arizona is 8-7 this season, and the total is 2-9-1 this season.

Arizona is outscoring teams 76-61 this season. The Wildcats are shooting  46.3% from the field and 38.2% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are in the top 50 nationally in scoring, field goal percentage and 3 point shooting. Arizona is 9th in free throw shooting at 76.3% from the line. The Wildcats average 37.5 rebounds per game, and are fifth in rebounds allowed with 25.1 per game. Arizona opponents are shooting 40.2% from the field and 36.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats average 14 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 14 turnovers a game.

Guard Mark Lyons averages 15.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.9 rebounds per game. Forward Solomon Hill averages 13.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Nick Johnson averages 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Guard-forward Kevin Parrom averages 8.9 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Brandon Ashley averages 7.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Kaleb Tarczewski averages 5.9 points and 6 rebounds per game. Grant Jarrett and Jordin Mayes make up the rest of the rotation.

UCLA is 13-5-1 ATS in Thursday games, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 1-4 in road games, and against teams with winning home records. The last 4 games in this series have gone under the total, but the over is 9-4 in the last 13 in Tucson.

Arizona is 9-2 ATS in Thursday games, 1-4 at home, after a straight up win, and against teams with winning home records, 1-5 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Pac 12 teams. The home team is 4-1 ATS and the favorite is 5-2 in this series recently. The Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 in Tucson against the Bruins.

The Bruins had won 10 games in a row before they lost to a very good Oregon team. UCLA started off the season 5-3. I don’t know who the real Bruins are. Arizona is easily the more consistent team, and I like them at home. UCLA puts up a tough fight though in a rivalry game.

Our college basketball picks will help you crush the bookmakers. Don’t miss out on any more winners this season.

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Posted by on Jan 24 2013. Filed under College Basketball, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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