Washington State is likely an NCAA Tournament bubble team as things stand, but the surging Cougars would get off that bubble for the time being if they can upset visiting No. 4 Arizona on Thursday night as 5.5-point underdogs on the NCAAB odds.
How to Bet Arizona at Washington State NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum
- TV: Fox Sports 1
- Stream: Fox Sports Go
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAB Lines: Arizona -5.5 (total 143)
This is the lone scheduled meeting of the season. Last year, Arizona won both. The one at Washington State was 86-82 in double overtime. Terrell Brown Jr. hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left that proved to be the winner. Brown’s three-pointer broke an 81-all tie and, after WSU’s Isaac Bonton made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line, Bennedict Mathurin hit two foul shots with nine seconds left to cap the scoring. Mathurin was 8-of-12 shooting and finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Brown scored 15 points. Bonton led the Cougars with 25 points. WSU was outscored 25-19 from the foul line despite attempting five more (37) free throws than the Wildcats. The Cougars made just 5 of 14 from the stripe after regulation.
WSU has won just once in the last 18 matchups.
Why Bet on Arizona?
Arizona (20-2) won its fourth in a row Monday, 91-79 at Arizona State. The Wildcats got the relatively easy win despite trailing 14-1 in the opening minutes. Arizona led by four points at halftime and got off to a good start in the second when Kerr Kriisa made a quick 3-pointer. It was the beginning of a game-altering push for the Wildcats, who jumped to a 49-38 advantage and never trailed again. The Sun Devils were outrebounded 48-26.
Azuolas Tubelis had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Bennedict Mathurin added 18 points to lead the Cats. Arizona was lights out from the field, going 57% on 34-of-60 shooting and a respectable 37% from three (7-for-19). Arizona became the first Pac-12 team to reach 20 overall victories and reach double-digit wins in the Pac-12.
“I credit Arizona, they were really good,” ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. “We kinda played the first seven minutes pretty well. … And after that we were kind of overmatched in a lot of ways. Things that we tried to avoid: points in the paint — we’ve been good lately in that department. It wasn’t only their size in the frontcourt. They had some runouts and the transition game. You could see how quickly they could put points on the board.”
If there’s one issue with Arizona, the team has now turned it over 20 or more times in three games, matching the same number of occurrences during the previous eight seasons. It has won all three of those games, but expecting that to always be the case is unlikely. When UA’s possessions do not end in turnovers they dominate. More than 66 percent of the Wildcats’ non-turnover possessions have produced scores.
In 8 games away from McKale Center this year, Arizona is holding opponents to 38.9% shooting from the floor. Conversely, Arizona is shooting 45.0% away from home this year.
The Cats are in the top 10 nationally in the following categories: scoring margin (2nd), assist rate (2nd), field goal pct. defense (2nd), scoring offense (3rd), blocked shots/game (3rd), total assists (5th), rebound margin (5th). In the Pac-12, Arizona leads the conference in scoring, field goal percent, rebounds, field goal percent defense, assists, scoring margin and rebound margin.
Why Bet on Washington State?
The Cougars, coming off their first road sweep of the Bay Area schools since 1993, seem to be hitting stride. They straightened out some of their scoring issues and boast a national Top-25 defense. Washington State, which is first in the Pac-12 in defensive efficiency, has held 10 of its 11 conference opponents to below one point per possession. WSU is getting a takeaway on 22.3 percent of possessions in conference play.
Washington State won 68-64 at Cal on Saturday. Michael Flowers scored 21 points and went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final 31 seconds. Efe Abogidi scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Tyrell Roberts scored 12 and Mouhamed Gueye had 10 for Washington State. The surging Cougars (14-7) now have won five straight, the longest streak since 2006-07.
It was WSU’s second straight win when being outrebounded, improving to 2-4 in such games. The Cougars also improved to 3-7 on the year when being outshot from the floor.
Flowers leads the team in scoring way at 13.7 points per game including a Pac best 2.7 three-pointers per game. The Cougs defense continues to be among the elite ranking 22nd in defensive rating at 92.6 per 100. WSU has allowed opponents to shoot and effective FG% of just 45.2% (20th in the country).
The Cougars might again be without 6-10, 250-pound center Dishon Jackson, who hasn’t played since sustaining an eye injury Jan. 8 at Utah.
“It’s 50/50,” Coach Kyle Smith said when asked about Jackson’s availability. “It’s dependent on how his vision’s doing and that stuff, but he’d be really helpful, I know that much.”
Washington State is 1-79 against the AP Top-5 since 1950 with their one win coming against #4 Oregon State, 69-51, on Feb. 16, 1980. The Cougs are 38-102 at home against the top-25 since 1950 but have won two of the last four at home with wins over #8 Oregon, 72-61, in 2020 and over #24 UCLA, 81-73, last season.
- Arizona 74, Washington State 68