Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NCAAB

Arizona heavily backed to beat UCLA in Pac-12 title game

Arizona heavily backed to beat UCLA in Pac-12 title game

#13 UCLA has a chance to win its first Pac-12 tournament title in eight years, but to do so will mean knocking off regular-season champion and second-ranked in the championship game Saturday night in Las Vegas.

The Wildcats are 1.5-point favorites at DraftKings, where they are being backed by 87 percent of the bets and 81 percent of the spread-line money. The line has also moved from 1.0 to 1.5 at PointsBet with Arizona being supported by 81 and 85 percent, respectively.

The second-seeded Bruins (25-6) have not played in the Pac-12 final since beating Arizona in 2014, but they’ll head into this clash having won five straight games and eight of nine, including 69-59 over #21 Southern Cal, the #3 seed, in Friday’s semifinals.

Top-seeded Arizona (30-3) reached its first Pac-12 final since 2018 with an 82-72 win over fourth-seeded Colorado, avenging a 16-point road loss to the Buffaloes two weeks earlier. The Wildcats were outscored 54-26 in the paint in that game but flipped that in the semifinals, winning that area 30-14.

“Sometimes I don’t mind losing, because it gives you a chance to kind of recalibrate and fix things,” Arizona first-year coach Tommy Lloyd said. “And we fixed things. That’s what this program is about.”

The Wildcats used a similar approach to avenge a 16-point loss at UCLA from late January when they beat the Bruins by 10 in Tucson less than two weeks later.

UCLA has four players who average in double figures, but of late it has leaned heavily on guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. The junior has 99 points in the team’s last four games, including 19 in the semifinal win over USC.

Jaquez averaged only 11.5 points against Arizona this season, but in the Pac-12 tourney, Arizona’s opponents have been able to have someone go off. Stanford’s Spencer Jones had a career-high 28 against the Wildcats in the quarterfinals, then Colorado’s Jabari Walker was 5 of 5 from 3-point range in the semifinals.

Colorado hit a Pac-12 tourney-record 16 3-pointers against Arizona, which has allowed 27 triples in two games. UCLA shot only 33.1 percent from outside in league play but in the Pac-12 tourney is 12 of 28 (42.9 percent).

The game will match the Pac-12’s top offense against a UCLA team that led the conference in scoring defense. The Bruins held Arizona to a season-low 59 points at home and haven’t allowed more than 68 points in the last 10 games.

“If you defend, you always got a chance,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “The thing about it is, you get to March, you can’t rely on shooting to win.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

PlayAction Podcast

SGPN | The Propcast | Week 4 NFL Player Props

NFL

Munaf Manji (@SportsNerd824) & Rod Villagomez (@rjvillagomez) of @TheSGPNetwork offer 5 player props each for Week 4.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Afternoon Games & SNF Betting Preview

NFL

The @SGPNNFL Pod covers the Week 4 late games as @SportsNerd824 & @ReichelRadio break down all four, including Tampa Bay & Kansas City.

SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks
SGPN | NFL Week 4 Picks

NFL

The @GamblingPodcast guys pick every week 4 NFL game against the spread, including two locks, a ML dog and a three-team teaser

JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers
JetNation | Zach to Return vs Steelers

NFL

This week, @JetNation hosts Dylan Tereman & Glenn Naughton break down the Bengals loss, the return of QB Zach Wilson & the Steelers game.

SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions
SGPN | Diehard Eagles | Jaguars-Eagles Predictions

NFL

The @DiehardEagles52 guys talk Philly's win over Wentz & WAS, Hurts' domination, rising expectations, 2nd half struggles,& picks vs JAX

Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview
Inside Pack Sports Live | NC State-Clemson Preview

NCAAF

The @InsidePackSport staff looks at tonight's NC State-Clemson showdown, matchups on both sides of the ball, key players & much more!

Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More
Buckeye Huddle | Is Michigan Football On Upset Alert & More

NCAAF

Tony Gerdeman of @BuckeyeHuddle joins host Tom Orr to break down Michigan-Iowa and the rest of this week’s biggest college football games.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Navy-Air Force Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Navy & Air Force. @TheColbyD is joined by AFA specialist @Falcon8fan of @HistoryFalcon to break it down.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview
SGPN | College Football Experience | Washington-UCLA Preview

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews Friday's Washington-UCLA game. @TheColbyD & @Scott_Bowser discuss whether Chip Kelly and UCLA will move to 5-0.