Wisconsin vs. Arizona - NCAA Tournament - 3/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Arizona Wildcats (34-3) at Wisconsin Badgers (34-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm (Staples Center)
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers +1.5 -- Over/Under: 134 See the Latest Odds
TV: TBS HD
The Arizona Wildcats and Wisconsin Badgers will face off at the Staples Center this Saturday with a trip to the NCAA final four on the line.
The (2) Arizona Wildcats (34-3, 16-2 Pac-12) used a big second half by T.J. McConnell to defeat the (6) Xavier Musketeers 68-60 this past Thursday night. Arizona was able to shoot 89.5% (17-19) from the free-throw line and hold Xavier to just 17.6% (3-17) shooting from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Wildcats was T.J. McConnell who had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists and Kaleb Tarczewski who had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Arizona finished the season ranked 6th in the RPI Standings, 3rd in the BPI Standings, and played the 38th ranked SOS. On the season, the Wildcats have been led by Stanley Johnson (14.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.7 apg) and Brandon Ashley (12.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg). Arizona is averaging 76.8 ppg (ranked 19th) on 48.9% shooting (ranked 5th). The Wildcats average just 11.1 turnovers per game (ranked 50th) and have a 1.27 assist/turnover ratio (ranked 44th). Defensively, Arizona is holding their opponents to an average of 59.0 ppg (ranked 14th) on 39.4% shooting (ranked 28th). The Wildcats pull down 37.33 total rpg (ranked 43rd) and have a rebound margin of 9.2 (ranked 2nd).
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The (1) Wisconsin Badgers (34-3, 16-2 Big Ten) got a huge game by Sam Dekker and was able to pull away late in the second half to defeat the (4) North Carolina Tar Heels 79-72 this past Thursday night. Wisconsin shot 46.4% from the field and outrebounded the North Carolina by a 35-28 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Badgers was Sam Dekker who had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Frank Kaminsky who had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Wisconsin finished the season ranked 2nd in the RPI Standings, 2nd in the BPI Standings, and played the 16th ranked SOS. On the season the Badgers have been led by Frank Kaminsky (18.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 bpg) and Sam Dekker (13.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.2 apg). Wisconsin is averaging 72.3 ppg (ranked 55th) on 48.0% shooting (ranked 17th). The Badgers average 7.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 93rd) and commit just 7.4 turnovers per game (ranked 1st). Wisconsin is holding their opponents to an average of 56.8 ppg (ranked 9th) on 42.2% shooting (ranked 125th). The Badgers commit 12.0 personal fouls per game (ranked 1st) and have a rebound margin of 5.9 (ranked 24th).
The Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss and 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games overall. The Badgers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. the Pac-12 and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 NCAA Tournament games.
Arizona and Wisconsin will once again do battle in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament as last year Arizona’s season ended with a tough 64-63 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight. Arizona certainly has the talent to win this game as they have the size and athleticism to play with anyone that is left in this tournament, however, it will be important that they don’t get in foul trouble and avoid any long stretches of offensive struggles as they are sometimes prone to do. Wisconsin is probably the most fundamentally sound team in the NCAA Tournament and do an amazing job protecting the ball on offensive and commit very few fouls on defensive. I think that this is going to be a very close game but as long as the Arizona big men stay out of foul trouble, I think they’ll limit the damage caused by Kaminsky and Dekker and that the Wildcats behind T.J. McConnell will find enough offensive to pull this one out. I’m taking Arizona to cover this small spread.