West Region Second Round Handicapping Picks: #16 Weber State Wildcats vs #1 Arizona Wildcats
2014 NCAA Tournament
West Region – Second Round
Viejas Arena – San Diego, California
#16 Weber State Wildcats vs #1 Arizona Wildcats
Friday, March 21, 2014, 2:10 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Arizona -19 1/2
Current Line: Arizona -20
Opening Total: 127
Current Total; 127 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -5000 / Weber State +1700
Current Money Line: Arizona -5000 / Weber State +1700
The 30-4 Arizona Wildcats started off the season 21-0, and have gone 9-4 in the last 13 games. They have been one of the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament for almost the entire season. The Wildcats are teh #1 seed in the West Region and open play Friday in San Diego against #16 seed 19-11 Weber State. the winner of Arizona and Weber State will play either #8 Gonzaga or #9 Oklahoma State in the third round Sunday.
Weber State went 14-6 in the Big Sky Conference and that was good enough for the regular season title. The Wildcats beat North Dakota 88-67 in the Big Sky Championship game. Weber State has won 3 straight games. The Wildcats are making their 15th NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2007. Weber State went 0-2 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.
Arizona won the Pac 12 regular season title with a 15-3 record. The Wildcats were upset by UCLA 75-71 in the Pac 12 Championship game, but the Wildcats were locked into a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament whether they won or lost that game. Arizona went 13-3 against NCAA Tournament teams this season. Arizona is making their 31st trip to the tournament. Since 1985, Arizona has missed the tournament only once in 2012. Last year the Wildcats made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Ohio State.
Arizona leads the series against Weber State 4-0. Arizona won the last meeting in 2008. All four games were played in Tucson, and all were decided by 6 points or less. The first three games in the series were played in the 1960’s.
Weber State is coached by Randy Rahe. The Wildcats have losses at BYU, at Colorado State, Utah State, at Utah Valley, at UCLA, at Northern Colorado, at Sacramento State, at Idaho State, at Montana, Northern Arizona, and Portland State. Weber State has key wins over San Jose State, Montana, North Dakota three times, Northern Colorado twice, and Portland State. The Wildcats are 12-14-1 ATS and the total is 15-10 this season.
Weber State is outscoring teams 73-66 this season. The Wildcats are shooting 48.1% from the field and 39.2% from 3 point range. Weber State is #20 nationally in both categories. The Wildcats are #46 nationally in free throw shooting at 73.7% from the line. Opponents are shooting 42.4% from the line and 32.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats average 34.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.9 per game. Weber State is #55 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Wildcats average 13.3 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 4.1 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 9.3 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.
Guard/forward Davion Berry averages 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Center Kyle Tresnak averages 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. Guard Jeremy Senglin averages 11.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Forward Joel Bolomboy averages 8.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Jordan Richardson, Richaud Gittens, and Kyndahl Hill will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Center James Hajek is out for the season with a knee injury and only played in 8 games.
Arizona is coached by Sean Miller. Arizona has losses at California, Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA. The Wildcats have key wins over Cal Poly, Long Beach State, at San Diego State, Rhode Island, Drexel and Duke in the pre-season NIT in New York City, Texas Tech, UNLV, New Mexico State, at Michigan, Washington State, Washington, at UCLA and USC, Arizona State, Colorado three times, Utah three times , Cal, Stanford twice, Oregon and Oregon State twice. Arizona is 20-13 ATS and the total is 10-20-2 this season.
Arizona is outscoring teams 73-58 this season. The Wildcats are #4 nationally in points allowed. Arizona is shooting 46.8% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #49 nationally in field goal percentage. Arizona makes 65.5% of their free throws and are #312 nationally out of 351 teams in that category. Wildcat opponents are shooting 38.1% from the field and 31.4% from 3 point range. Arizona is #6 in field goal defense and #46 in 3 point defense. The Wildcats average 39 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.9. Arizona is #19 in rebounding and #10 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Wildcats average 15.1 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.2 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
Guard Nick Johnson averages 16.2 points, 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Aaron Gordon averages 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Brandon Ashley averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game. He broke his foot in the Cal loss and is gone for the season. Center Kaleb Tarczewski averages 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1 block per game. Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson averages 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Guard T.J. McConnell averages 8.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Gabe York averages 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Weber State is 1-3-1 ATS after a straight up win, and against teams with winning records, 2-6-1 in neutral site games, 2-6 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 2-8-1 after a cover, and 1-6 in Friday games.
Arizona is 6-0 ATS in NCAA Tournament games, 4-1 after a straight up loss, 6-2 in neutral site games, and 20-7 in non-conference games.
Arizona has one of the best defensive teams in the nation. Weber State is in the top 20 nationally in both field goal and three point shooting. However, Weber State has some bad losses to some terrible teams. I think Arizona wins this game easily.