Arizona Looks to Continue Climb
The Arizona Wildcats will hope to keep climbing the Pac-12 ranks when they visit the Washington State Cougars for a rematch on Thursday.
The Wildcats won their last two games, including a 58-52 survival of first-place UCLA, and now sit two games out of the top spot in the Pac-12. Arizona is in third place with a 6-3 conference record.
Washington State, meanwhile, is on a two-game losing skid after falling in the final moments to Colorado. The Cougars’ 4-6 record in conference play puts them ninth in the Pac-12.
Earlier this month, the Cougars got the better of the Wildcats 74-61 on the road to end a 28-game home winning streak for Arizona. The Wildcats will now hope to do the same and continue their ascent after going 3-1 since that loss.
According to college basketball odds, Arizona (+1400) is tied with the sixth-best odds to win the national title. The Wildcats (+275) have the second-best odds to win the Pac-12 while the Cougars are tied for ninth-best odds to win.
Let’s check the latest college basketball news, stats, injury reports and college basketball lines for Arizona vs Washington State. We’ve got plenty of NCAA basketball picks for you to consider.
Defense Steps Up for Wildcats
Offense has been the name of the game for Arizona, but that wasn’t the case in its last win.
The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in points and field goal percentage, averaging 83.3 points and shooting at a 48.7% clip, but they didn’t reach either of those marks in their last win against UCLA.
Arizona scored 58 points in its win against the Bruins, shooting 38.8% from the field. Despite a bad shooting night, the Wildcats were able to rely on strong defense that normally ranks as the worst in the conference, allowing 72 points a game.
Against UCLA, the Wildcats held the Bruins to 52 points on 31.3% shooting and 20% from three, helping to end a 14-game UCLA win streak. Arizona’s defense also came alive in its win over USC, holding the Trojans to 66 points on 36.9% shooting.
The Wildcats’ bigs, Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo, were key in the two wins this past week – just as they have been all season, leading the team in scoring and rebounding. Tubelis leads with an average of 19.9 points and 9.4 rebounds while Ballo averages 16.1 points and nine rebounds. Tubelis recorded a double-double in each game with Ballo adding 12 and 16 points against the Trojans and Bruins, respectively.
Arizona will continue to lead with offense, but its improvement on defense is a positive for the Wildcats’ continued success.
Washington State Hopes to Bounce Back
The Cougars will be looking to rebound from a two-game losing stretch and pick up the season sweep over Arizona.
Washington State lost to Colorado behind a last-second 3-pointer for the Buffaloes, also falling to second-place Utah earlier in the week. The Cougars struggled to score in both games, combining for 36.6% shooting from the field and 25.6% from beyond the arc.
The Cougars’ No. 2 scorer, Mouhamed Gueye, was also dealing with foul trouble and hamstring issues against Colorado, leaving him to play 20 minutes and finish scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.
Gueye’s status is integral with Washington State set to face Arizona, as he was a big difference in the win earlier this month. Gueye scored 24 points and pulled in 14 boards to lead the Cougars in the win.
Washington State also returned leading scorer TJ Bamba in the loss against the Buffs. Bamba, who averages 15.2 points, played 32 minutes against Colorado after missing the three previous games. He scored 18 points in his return.
The Cougars are looking for a bounce-back game, and their top two leading scorers getting healthy should help.
Arizona vs Washington State Game Injuries
Arizona vs Washington State Head-to-Head
The Wildcats and Cougars have met 83 times since 1978, with Arizona leading the series 66-17. Washington State won the last meeting 74-61 in January, ending a five-game series win streak for Arizona.
Arizona vs Washington State Game Information
- Game: Arizona (17-3, 6-3 Pac-12) vs Washington State (9-12, 4-6)
- Location: Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA
- Day/Time: Thursday, Jan. 26, 11 p.m. ET
- Arizona vs. Washington State Live Stream: TBS.com
Arizona vs Washington State Betting Lines
Arizona vs. Washington State Picks & Prediction
Arizona is riding the momentum of two big wins last week over both LA teams and will be looking to get payback for its loss to the Cougars in Tucson.
Although Washington State made things difficult for the Wildcats the first time around, Arizona’s offense is in the top 20 in the nation in field goal percentage and should do better against a Cougars defense that is 11th in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage allowed. Teams are shooting 45% against them.
Additionally, Arizona’s defense was able to pick up the slack in its last win when its offense was underperforming. Though Washington State is 3-0 in its last three home games, the Cougars’ Gueye is still returning from injury and Arizona also matches up well against their height. The Wildcats should be able to avenge their previous loss with a win on the road.
The Arizona Wildcats are listed at -200 in our Vegas NCAAB lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Wildcats, you have a chance to win $50. The Washington State Cougars are +170, offering a chance to win $170 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Arizona Wildcats a 66.67% chance to win, with the Washington State Cougars at 37.04%.