Arizona Wildcats Vs. Belmont Bruins 3/21/13 Mark’s Free College Basketball Pick Against the Spread NCAA First Round
The Belmont Bruins tangle with the Arizona Wildcats in round one of the NCAA Tournament.
Belmont's first season in the Ohio Valley was a good one with both the regular season title and the conference championship as well with a victory over defending champ Murray State in the title game. This was the Murray State squad reincarnated from 2011-12 with double digit victories a common sight with both their ability to score and defend against any team. The Bruins were the #15 offense in the nation at over 77 points on 49% marksmanship, but could also defend with only 65 points allowed. Belmont is able to play up tempo or slow and and can win strictly on defense or scoring and if it comes down to putting the ball in the basket, Ian Clark was the guy Belmont wanted to have the ball with his 18 points and 54% marksmanship. However, with four double digit scores, the Bruins had numerous scoring options.
I thought Arizona and their potent offense would be a top ten team in 2012-13 although that didn't quite work out. However, #18 is none too shabby and is the envy of many teams which is an understatement. Arizona finished second in the PAC 12 at 12-6, one game behind top dog UCLA who also knocked the Wildcats out of the conference tournament. The Wildcats had some of the best balance in the game as they outscored opponents 73-64, but the team struggled to match these numbers in defeats. If 'Zona expects to make a long run in the Big Dance there can not be any letdowns now or they'll be watching the tournament on television. Mark Lyons paced the team in scoring with nearly 15 points, with Solomon Hill's 13 points giving UA a solid one, two punch at the offensive end.
Both teams can score the basketball so points could be plentiful. The Wildcats have the better RPI (#15) and a #30 schedule so the public will be pounding them, but Belmont can shoot the three and put up points in bunches. I have followed Belmont all year and might be a bit prejudiced but this might be closer than most expect...