Arizona plays UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship in a big rematch. Arizona is coming off a blowout win against Arizona State, while UCLA is coming off a blowout win against Oregon. My prediction is that Arizona covers 1-point spread. Arizona and UCLA are evenly matched, but UCLA is dealing with more injury issues than Arizona is, which is going to be the difference. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction
Arizona looked great against Arizona State in a 19-point win. The key is how fast-paced Arizona can make the game.
Azuolas Tubelis is the key for Arizona in the front court. He’s had 20 points and 17 points in both Pac-12 tournament games. He leads the team in scoring at 20 PPG, in rebounding at 9 per game, and is tied for the lead in steals at 1.1 per game. Oumar Ballo makes up the second half of the best front court in the country. He averages 14 PPG, 8.5 rebounds per game, and he leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per game. Courtney Ramey and Kerr Kriisa are two keys for the Wildcats in the backcourt and they’ve been decent in Vegas so far, despite Kerr injuring his shoulder. Ramey averages 11 PPG and 4 assists, while Kriisa averages 10 PPG and leads the whole Pac-12 in assists at 5.4 per game.
Arizona has been incredible on offense this year. They’re top-5 in the country in scoring at 83.3 PPG, top-5 in field goal percentage at 50%, top-5 in assists at 19.4 per game, and top-10 in rebounds per game at 39.5. On defense, they also give up 72 PPG.
On the other side, UCLA has been the best team in the Pac-12, and also on the west coast this season.
Jaime Jacquez Jr. has been great this year and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year because of it. He leads the team in scoring at 17.5 PPG and in rebounding at 8 per game. Tyger Campbell is a huge key for the Bruins at point guard. He averages 13.5 PPG and leads the team in assists at 5 per game. With Jaylen Clark out expect more from Amari Bailey and David Singleton. Bailey averages 10 PPG, while Singleton averages 9 PPG. Singleton also is the best three-pointer shooter for the Bruins at 43.5%.
UCLA is one of the best defensive teams in the country this season. They’re top-10 in points allowed at 60.3 PPG and they also score 74.4 PPG on offense.
Arizona is the pick in this game. UCLA is missing their best defender in Jaylen Clark and their best big man, Adem Bona, might not play either after injuring his shoulder. Kriisa isn’t 100% for Arizona, but they should be able to whether the UCLA defense still. Arizona wins thanks to their big men in a very close one, with the fan turnout also making a difference for the Wildcats.
Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction: Arizona +1
Arizona vs. UCLA Odds
UCLA is a 1-point favorite against Arizona coming into the Pac-12 Championship game and is at -110 on the money line. The over/under is also at 148.5. It makes sense that UCLA is slightly favored because they’ve been the better team compared to Arizona all season, despite the injury issues they’re dealing with. The over/under seems high even though Arizona plays so fast-paced because UCLA is so good on defense and can control the game there. The spread could change a bit before tip-off too because it’s so close.
Arizona vs. UCLA Key Matchups
Can Jaime Jacquez Jr. matchup with Azuolas Tubelis? Can Kerr Kriisa matchup with Tyger Campbell?
Azuolas Tubelis vs Jaime Jacquez Jr.
Azuolas Tubelis has been great this year and can make a statement against Jacquez. He averages 20 points, 2 assists, and 9 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Jaime Jacquez Jr. most of the game, who averages 17.5 points, 2 assists, and 8 rebounds per game for the season. This is going to be the matchup of the game. Tubelis is the biggest reason why I like my prediction of Arizona covering the spread against UCLA.
Tyger Campbell vs Kerr Kriisa
Tyger Campbell has been great for the Bruins. He averages 13.5 points, 5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Kerr Kriisa most of the game, who averages 10 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game for the season. This is an underrated matchup because of how important each player is to their team. Campbell is the biggest advantage UCLA has and is the biggest reason why they could cover.