UCLA is the only team in the Pac-12 without a conference loss but could be on upset alert Thursday when it visits a very good Arizona State team. Here’s a look at that matchup as well as Michigan at Maryland from the Big Ten with both needing wins to boost their NCAA Tournament resumes. Here is an analysis for your bets NCAA Basketball.
Picks For January 19: Back Arizona State, & Maryland At Home
Michigan at Maryland (-3)
Tip of 7 PM ET on ESPN from the Big Ten. On New Year’s Day, Maryland was slaughtered 81-46 at Michigan. UM scored the first 17 points and held Maryland without a field goal for nearly the first eight minutes of the game. The Wolverines shot 67% (18-for-27) in the first half and outrebounded Maryland 26-12, with 23 defensive rebounds among Maryland’s 26 missed shots. Michigan led 24-6 in paint points and 12-0 in fastbreak points. Maryland was 4 for 30 from the field in the first half, making three 2-pointers and one 3-pointer to go with four free throws.
Michigan can beat anyone at home (as shown by that first Maryland game) and comes off an 85-78 win there over Northwestern on Sunday to snap a two-game skid. In a game with eight lead changes and seven ties, Kobe Bufkin’s 20 points led the Wolverines to the victory.
Dug McDaniel added a career-best 17 points, while Hunter Dickinson secured his second straight double-double with 10 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds. Jett Howard had 16 points and has combined for 50 points in his last two games. Coach Juwan Howard’s son has shot a combined 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from beyond the arc over that span.
Michigan has made 24 three-pointers in its last two games — thanks to Howard’s 11. U-M drained a season-best 14 at Iowa (Jan. 12) and added 10 against Northwestern. The two-game tally nearly equals the team total in the five previous games (29).
Maryland was beaten 81-67 at Iowa on Sunday and has been terrible on the road. Jahmir Young led Maryland with 20 points, Donta Scott added 15 and 11 rebounds and Julian Reese scored 10. The Terps are 8-1 this season at home, though, with the only loss coming against No. 16 UCLA. Since then, Maryland has won three straight at home, including against No. 24 Ohio State (80-73) on Jan. 8 as part of its two home Big Ten wins this year. Maryland enters Thursday’s game at No. 52 in the current NCAA NET rankings with three Quad 1 wins (Miami, Illinois, Ohio State) and one Quad 2 win (Saint Louis).
U-M is 13-7 all-time against Maryland and has won the past five overall. The Wolverines have won three of their last four at the Xfinity Center and hold a 4-5 all-time mark in College Park.
No. 5 UCLA at Arizona State (+5)
Tipoff at 10:30 PM ET on Thursday and shown on Fox Sports 1. UCLA has an argument as the best team in the country at 16-2 and on a 13-game winning streak following a 68-54 home win over Colorado on Saturday. UCLA trailed by a margin of 44-35 at the 10:21 mark of the second half, but stormed ahead with a 17-0 run that made it 52-44 with just over six minutes remaining in the game and ultimately closed the game on a 33-10 run.
Senior guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. was UCLA’s most productive player on Saturday, leading the team in points (23), rebounds (13), blocks (five), and steals (four). He notched his second double-double of the season and became the first player in Pac-12 history (on record) with at least 23 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and four steals in one game.
This marks the second consecutive season in which UCLA has won 16 of its first 18 games. Last season’s UCLA squad opened the regular season with 16 wins in 18 games, ultimately advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The Bruins last opened a basketball season with 17 wins through 18 games in 2016-17 (starting that year 19-1, through 20 games). The Bruins have limited the opposition to 57.1 points per game during the 13-game winning streak (holding the opposition to 28.6% from 3-point range).
ASU is a game back of first-place UCLA in the Pac-12. Arizona State has been one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Sun Devils rank 8th in the nation holding opponents to just 37.4% shooting from the field. Opposing guards are shooting 37% against ASU in conference play and 34% for the season against the Sun Devils perimeter defense. Guards are averaging 8.1 turnovers per game against Arizona State in conference play.
Transfer point guard Frankie Collins has added a different dimension to the Sun Devils offense. He has tied or outright paced ASU’s assist category in 15 games he has played. Collins’ 5.2 assists per game rank 26th in the nation and third in the Pac-12. He is one of only three players in the conference averaging at least 10 points, five assists, and four rebounds (USC’s Drew Peterson, Oregon’s Will Richardson).
UCLA and ASU split a pair of regular-season contests last season, with each team winning on its home court. The Bruins have won four of the last five meetings against Arizona State, having swept the season series (2-0) in 2020-21. Arizona State defeated UCLA in Tempe last season in triple overtime (ASU 87, UCLA 84).
- Back both home teams ATS