The Nicholls State Colonels and the Arizona Wildcats meet in college basketball action from the McKale Center on Monday night.
The Nicholls State Colonels will enter the 2022-23 season looking to build on a successful 2021-22 season, finishing at 21-12 overall with an 11-3 conference record to finish as the Southland Conference regular season champions. The Colonels lost to Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in the conference tournament semifinals, but as a conference regular season champion that didn’t win their conference tournament, Nicholls State got an invite to the NIT where they were bounced in the first round by SMU, ending their season. The Colonels have to replace a pair of their better players from last year’s squad, including top scorer Ty Gordon (20.8 PPG, 3.1 APG) as well as DeVante Carter (12.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.9 APG). The Colonels do return Latrell Jones (11.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG) from last year’s team and bring in some reinforcements via the transfer portal, including Lance Amir-Paul (18.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG) from subdivision Gannon as well as Marek Nelson (10.4 PPG) from UTRGV and Micah Thomas (9.7 PPG) from Indiana State.
The Arizona Wildcats will hope to build on a solid 2021-22 season, finishing at 33-4 overall, including an 18-2 mark in Pac-12 conference play to finish as Pac-12 regular season champs and also managed to take out Stanford, Colorado and UCLA on the way to winning the Pac-12 tournament. The Wildcats got a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament, beating Wright State and TCU before falling to Houston in the sweet 16. The Wildcats will reload a bit after losing two double-digit scorers to the NBA, with Bennedict Mathurin (17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG) and Christian Koloko (12.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.8 BPG) going pro. The Wildcats return Azuolas Tubelis (13.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG) as well as Kerr Kriisa (9.7 PPG) and Pelle Larsson (7.2 PPG). The Wildcats hit the transfer portal hard, bringing in Courtney Ramey (9.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG) from Texas and Cedric Henderson Jr. (14 PPG, 5.6 RPG) from Campbell.
Nicholls State is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Monday games. Arizona is 12-3 ATS in their last 15 Monday games and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games while the over is 7-2 in their last 9 games overall.
I get the case to be made for an underdog in some spots, but I’m backing Arizona here. This Wildcats team lost some solid pieces, but didn’t sit around, they reloaded and got some solid pieces to what they already have going on in Tucson. I look for the Wildcats to come out firing here and for Nicholls State to not have any answers for it this time around. Give me Arizona in a beatdown.