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Arizona Wildcats vs. New Mexico State Aggies Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/11/13

New Mexico State Aggies (7-4) at Arizona Wildcats (9-0)

College Basketball: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm (McKale Center)

The Line: Arizona Wildcats -- -15 Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Pac-12 Network

The top-ranked Arizona Wildcats look to remain unblemished when they welcome the New Mexico State Aggies to the McKale Center Wednesday.

Arizona has scratched and clawed its way to the #1 ranking, winning three of its last four by five, six and four points respectively. In their last outing against UNLV, the Wildcats survived a closely-contested back and forth affair that saw 18 lead changes and neither team open up a lead greater than six points. Junior G T.J. McConnell, a Duquesne transfer, scored a team-high 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and six assists and sophomore F Brandon Ashley added 13 point and 5 boards on 46 percent from the floor. The Runnin Rebels took a 42-39 advantage into the break and the two sides traded baskets and one-point leads for virtually the entire second half, all the way to the 2:20 mark when Arizona took a three-point lead on a dunk from freshman F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. UNLV never threatened from there. The Wildcats shot 28 of 67 from the floor to the Rebels’ 23 of 50 and connected on just 3 of 16 from beyond the arc. Through 9 games, Arizona is averaging 77.8 ppg on 50 percent shooting and junior G Nick Johnson leads the team with 16.6 ppg on 49 percent from the field.

Arizona Wildcats vs. New Mexico State Aggies Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/11/13

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, New Mexico State comes in with a record of 7-4 and reeling after an 80-68 loss to Gonzaga Saturday, marking its third straight. The Aggies went toe-to-toe with then 19th-ranked Gonzaga and trailed just 31-30 at the half. While New Mexico Sate held the Bulldogs to just 35 percent shooting in the first half, the Zags did an about-face and shot 64 percent from the field in the second, as did the Aggies, who hit just 3 of their first 15 shots in the second half. Junior G Daniel Mullings had a team-high 17 points on 5 of 14 shooting and connected on 6 of 9 from the stripe, while junior C Tshilidzi Nephawe added 13 points and 8 rebounds. On the season, New Mexico State is averaging 77.3 ppg on 47 percent shooting and Mullings leads the team with 17.6 ppg on 49 percent from the floor.

The line in this one currently has Arizona a 15-point home favorite, a big number considering the Wildcats’ recent trend of narrow escapes. And while the Aggies have only faced one ranked opponent in Gonzaga, they stood in with them, as they did with New Mexico and Colorado State. Unless there’s significant movement here, the points look like the play.

Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick

New Mexico State +15

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