Arizona Offense to Test Houston D
Houston looked every bit the part of a team with the third-best defensive rating in the country after holding Illinois to 53 points. It was the fifth time in eight games in March when Houston’s opponent was held under 60 points. It will be a test to repeat that feat against one of the top offensive teams in the country.
Arizona has averaged 86 points in two March Madness contests. The Wildcats got guard Kerr Kriisa back after he missed the final two games of the Pac-12 tournament and the NCAA first-round game with an ankle injury that was feared to be a season-ending one.
Kriisa didn’t start but did play 27 minutes in the Round of 32 win over TCU, which nearly defied the March Madness odds by taking out Arizona.
Arizona (+500) is tied for the second-best odds to win the national championship while Houston comes in at +1000.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and March Madness Odds for Houston vs Arizona. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Houston Making Another March Madness Run
Some of the other No. 5 seeds came into the March Madness bracket drawing more buzz, but the Houston Cougars are the last ones remaining in the field.
Houston took the lead for good against Illinois with 12:23 left in the first half. Taze Moore had four points during an 11-2 run as the Cougars took control to move two wins away from their second straight trip to the Final Four.
Illinois tied the game midway through the second half and only trailed by five with 4:52 left to play before Fabian White scored five points and Jamal Shead added four in Houston’s 11-0 run en route to the 68-53 victory.
Houston outrebounded Illinois by six, the Cougars were plus-six in offensive rebounds and plus-eight in the turnover department to improve to 6-1 in the last two NCAA Tournaments.
Moore, who had shot 40 percent or less in his last four games, had 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
Houston reached the regionals despite injuries to two players in the rotation, including leading scorer Marcus Strasser.
“We don’t want to lose,” Shead said. “We don’t want to lose, We want to win for each other.”
Houston has covered against the Las Vegas odds in its last five games.
Arizona Rallies to Advance to Sweet 16
Arizona saw its nine-point lead disappear on Sunday night and it looked as if another No. 1 seed was about to be eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
No. 9 seed Texas Christian twice led by three points in the last 1½ minutes before Bennedict Mathurin scored five of his 30 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.
TCU had a chance to win the game on the last possession in regulation but Mike Miles lost the ball near midcourt. Dalen Terry raced in and dunked, but the ball was still in his hands as time expired.
Mathurin had six points in overtime, and in a game with 34 offensive rebounds, Christian Koloko’s dunk after the final one clinched the victory for Arizona, which advanced to the regionals for the first time since 2017 with the 85-80 win.
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) March 21, 2022
Arizona failed to cover in its fourth straight NCAA Tournament game as the Pac-12 champions were favored by 10 points against a TCU team that finished with a losing record during the Big 12 regular season.
Mathurin overcame a tough start to make six of his last 10 shots and Koloko finished with 28 on 12-of-13 shooting for Arizona. The duo also combined for 10 offensive rebounds.
The total has gone over the college basketball spreads in eight of Arizona’s last nine games.
Houston vs Arizona Head-to-Head
Arizona has won four of the last five meetings against Houston and covered in each of the last three meetings. However, it will be tough for those who bet online to use any trends from the series between the Cougars and Wildcats since the teams haven’t played since 2009.
Houston’s last win against Arizona came in 2005.
Houston fell to Baylor in the 2021 Final Four in the last game against a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Arizona hasn’t played against a No. 5 seed since beating Utah 84-71 in 2009.
Follow the Road to the Final Four
Learn more about the No. 1 seeds:
Houston vs Arizona Game Information
- Game: Houston (31-5) vs. Arizona (33-3)
- Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
- Day/Time: Thursday, 9:59 p.m. ET
- Live stream: TBS.com
- 2022 March Madness bracket
Houston vs Arizona Betting Lines
Houston vs Arizona Prediction
Houston was 16-1 at home and only lost two games in the state of Texas this season. The Cougars return to the Lone Star State to face Arizona in the South Regional semifinal.
Houston ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense and is also among the national leaders in both steals and blocks per game. One concern is that Houston is one of the worst foul-shooting teams in the country.
Arizona leads the country in assists per game and is in the top five in scoring offense and field goal percentage. The Wildcats are lucky to still be playing but perhaps the emotional overtime win against TCU will get the Wildcats going. The March Madness predictions are calling for an Arizona win.
The key will be the pace of play. Arizona would love to see a game in the 70s or 80s while Houston wants a game in the 60s.
Pick: Arizona -2
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