Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Arizona vs. UCLA - 3/9/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

IMG_0058 Tad Boyle injures leg helping break up late-game skirmish
Jay Anderson | 12 March, 2018, 10:16

March Madness can't get here soon enough.

UCLA Bruins forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) dunks in front of Arizona Wildcats center Dusan Ristic during the first half of a semifinal basketball game in the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, March 9, 2018.

While the 2017-18 season has not been a smooth one for No. 15 Arizona, Sean Miller's Wildcats still managed to win the Pac-12 regular season title by two games. It could be the rallying cry that carries the Wildcats deep in the NCAA Tournament. A very talented team, with an agenda? After a back and forth affair the Bruins and Wildcats went into overtime to determine who would go into the Pac-12 Tournament finals.

Rakocevic scored nine of USC's final 11 points before halftime, including a layup off a pick-and-roll from Jordan McLaughlin seconds before the buzzer sounded.

Which leads to Saturday. Friday at 7 p.m. the Cats face the UCLA Bruins in the semifinals in Las Vegas. Like UCLA, ASU's résumé features a couple of impressive wins-highlighted by victories away from Tempe against likely NCAA tournament No. 1 seeds Kansas and Xavier. However, there is a 99 percent chance that both teams make the tournament with an at-large bid if they lose.

The Bruins took seven total shots in the extra time, six from behind the arc and only one in the paint.

It was Ayton that carried the Wildcats over the Bruins in the semifinals.

Ayton finished with a game-high 32 points, which also marked a new career high for the star big man, to go with 14 rebounds in a game that turned into a classic battle between the longtime foes.

"So the rebounding advantage swinging our way was - that and guarding Aaron Holiday - was probably the two biggest things that helped us win". The Trojans just had no answer for Ayton. At the Trojans disposal is the six-foot-eleven junior, Chimezie Metu.




Stat of the game: The Wildcats outrebounded USC 42-19.

When asked how he would deal with Ayton, Metu first laughed.

USC is in its first Pac-12 Tournament final since 2009, when it won the only conference tourney title in school history.

In the semifinals against OR on Friday night, USC had 20 turnovers. "Defense leads to offense".

USC held a 33-30 lead at halftime, remaining ahead of the Wildcats for most of the first half, though never by more than four points.

Great defense is pointless without the ability to capitalize on the other end. He was sidelined for two minutes before returning to the court.

Compare that to Arizona's competition thus far. The Wildcats shot 44.4 percent from the field while Colorado shot 46.2 percent, and Arizona outrebounded the Buffs 15-12 overall. USC took better care of the ball and ended the half with only four turnovers. I thought a lot of 50-50 balls that could have gone either way went to Arizona, which, again, they deserve them because they got them. Then there's the fact that USC just struggled in getting open looks.

Colorado used a big second-half run to beat Arizona State 97-85 in its Pac-12 opener, a game that put Boyle in a walking boot after injuring his right calf trying to break up a fight.

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