NCAA College Basketball Prediction- #2 Wisconsin vs. #1 Arizona

NCAA Free Pick & Prediction Badgers vs. Wildcats

#2 Wisconsin Badgers (29-7) @ #1 Arizona Wildcats (33-4) 03/29- 8:49PM EST- Honda Center, Anaheim CA

 

Line: ARI -3.0

Over/Under- 131.0

 

With a spot for the Final Four up for grabs on Saturday night, No. 2 seed Wisconsin and No. 1 seed Arizona will take to the court at the Honda Center in Anaheim with the winner of the West Final punching their ticket to next weeks Final Four.

 

It’s hard to go to the Final Four,” said Arizona Wildcat coach Sean Miller, who began his coaching career as the Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach way back in 1992. “You can be really good and not make it, both as a coach, a team and a player.”

 

That will be the challenge for this Arizona team that is looking to advance out of the West Regional for the first time since 1998. The Wildcats (33-4) have failed the previous three times when playing in Anaheim, but this years team who was ranked No. 1 in the polls for eight weeks and went on a 21-game win streak have to be feeling good about their chances.

 

The Arizona program has gone the last five years going unnoticed, but now want to deliver for coach Miller who has restored this once proud basketball program back to prominence this season.

 

What we have done during the season has validated how good we are,” said 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski.

 

Tarczewski hopes to have a more productive game after struggling with foul trouble in Thursday’s night semifinal game in which they staged a comeback against the San Diego Aztecs.

 

For Wisconsin (29-7), they haven’t tasted the Final Four since 2000 and reached the regional final just once in 13 straight trips in the NCAA tournament under long-time coach Bo Ryan. Ryan turned 69 earlier this week and his team feels they need to finally deliver for their coach who became was an assistant for the Wisconsin program from 1976-85.

 

Badger guard Josh Gasser had this to say about his coach… “He deserves it. We all want it and we all want it for him.”

 

These two teams are similar in their defensive approach and go after it when it comes to rebounding.

 

We are tough, nasty and relentless,” said Arizona freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

 

Expect a good battle between both 7-foot centers, Arizona’s Tarczewski and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, who had 19 points and six blocks in helping to lead the Badgers to their semifinal win over the Baylor Bears.

 

We’re looking to draw fouls and throw them off-balance a little bit with early foul trouble,” said Wisconsin’s three-point specialist Ben Brust.

 

The Badgers are a slightly better team from beyond the arc shooting 38 percent to Arizona’s 36, so containing any damage done from 3point range will be a priority for both teams.

 

We have to close out the high ends and keep them off line,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “They’re going to play tough in guarding us too.”

 

One person the Badgers will need to guard closely will be Nick Johnson, the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

 

It still makes you say, ‘Wow,’ every time you see them,” says Badger’s Sam Dekker on Johnson and his high-flying teammates. “Dunks aside, they are a very solid team that can go out there and defend. They get after people and make you work.”

 

Both teams enter averaging 73 points per contest while limiting opponents to 42 percent shooting or less and with that, oddsmakers are expecting a tightly close played game making the Wildcats a slight (minus -3.0) point favorite with an O/U of just 131.0, so stay up to date on the latest spread up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I expect the same… a close game from beginning to end but will have to predict the slightly stronger Arizona Wildcats doing just enough to punch their ticket to the Final Four next weekend.

 

Prediction/Pick- Arizona

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

No. 1 Arizona easily defeats Gonzaga to reach Sweet 16

SAN DIEGO – Arms waving and legs churning, Arizona is racing again into the Sweet 16.

The rest of the bracket should take discover of this one. If they play like this, the Wildcats are going to be awfully robust to beat.

Overwhelming Gonzaga with its contest-everything protection, Arizona seemed very very similar to the top seed within the West, blowing out the Bulldogs 84-sixty one on Sunday to succeed in the Sweet sixteen for the third time in 4 years.

”That Arizona crew we noticed tonight was as good a team as we’ve faced, that I can keep in mind,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few stated. ”It was simply too much for us tonight.”

Coming off a shaky NCAA event opener, Arizona (32-4) ended a wild first weekend of upsets and buzzer beaters with a show of domination.

This was not the epic double-overtime recreation these teams performed within the 2003 NCAA Event. This was an eye fixed-popping display of what one of many nation’s greatest groups can do when it gets rolling.

The Wildcats overran Gonzaga (29-7) with their size, athleticism and fast palms to blow the eighth-seeded Bulldogs out of the bracket.

Turning one of school basketball’s most efficient teams on its head, Arizona scored 31 points of Gonzaga’s 21 turnovers – 15 on steals – and never gave the Zags an opportunity after racing out to a 21-level lead in the first half.

Aaron Gordon had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for Arizona. Fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson additionally had 18 points and Nick Johnson completed with 17.

Next up for Arizona is fourth-seeded San Diego State – a crew it beat in this same area early within the season – within the Sweet sixteen simply up the coast in Anaheim.

”Tonight was certainly one of our season’s greatest performances,” Arizona coach Sean Miller stated. ”Obviously, you need to play nicely in the NCAA match and that is exactly what our staff did tonight.”

Gonzaga has relied on its capacity to regulate the game and take care of the ball during a run of 16 straight NCAA event appearances.

Arizona’s pressure ran the Zags ragged, leaving them trailing the Wildcats as they raced off to at least one layup after one other.

Przemek Karnowski scored 14 points and Kevin Pangos added 12 for Gonzaga, which hasn’t reached the Candy sixteen since 2009.

”We did not do ourselves any favors,” said Pangos, who saved enjoying after turning his ankle early in the sport. ”We allow them to feel pretty good about themselves. But they’re a very good team and they did pace it up slightly bit.”

Arizona was jittery in its opener against Weber State, starting sluggish and permitting the Wildcats from Utah to claw their way back from a 21-point deficit within the second half to make it shut.

The first-sport nervousness out of their system, the Wildcats played with confidence and plenty of power towards Gonzaga, sprinting up the ground after steals and defensive rebounds to set up simple shots in transition.

Arizona made it look simple at times, dropping off passes for layups, flying in for alley-oops and recognizing up for 3-tips on the break.

It was so good even Gordon, whose outdoors shot has been questioned, dropped in a 3-pointer. For good measure, he went in for what appears to develop into his signature move on the break, soaring up for a reverse dunk on an alley-oop from Johnson to put Arizona up 38-20.

Gonzaga shot nicely against one of many nation’s best defenses – when it could get pictures off.

The Bulldogs struggled with Arizona’s they’re-all over the place defense, enjoying catch-up on the break because the Wildcats snared passes and stripped dribblers for eight steals within the first half. Gonzaga had eleven turnovers that Arizona become 19 factors for a 47-34 halftime lead that may have been extra if the Bulldogs didn’t make a late run.

Arizona had one turnover and 13 assists on its 17 discipline goals – 34 attempts – with Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson combining to hit 8 of 9 pictures whereas scoring 12 factors every.

”What we did as we speak was push the tempo,” Gordon stated. ”We seen they weren’t getting again as well as they need to and we simply kept that going all through the sport.”

The second half began like this: two possessions by Gonzaga, two turnovers.

Arizona kept the present going from there.

Johnson had the defensive spotlight of the half, tracking down David Stockton to block what appeared to be a breakaway layup and the ball went off a Gonzaga player, besides. The offensive reel was highlighted by Gordon, who soared in for a rebound slam over two Gonzaga gamers.

No probability for the Bulldogs and, if Arizona retains taking part in like this, not much of one for anyone else.

Read The Original Article