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Arizona comes into Saturday’s matchup playing some of their best basketball of the season and they get a relatively easy matchup against a Cal team that has dropped four straight games by at least nine points. Can Arizona continue its recent success on the road against the Golden Bears on Saturday night?
Arizona riding season-long win streak
Arizona extended its winning streak to a season-high five games and remained undefeated in PAC 12 play, defeating Stanford on the road 75-70. Brandon Randolph scored 17 points to lead five Wildcats’ players in double-figures, while Brandon Williams and Ira Lee added 12 apiece for the Wildcats, who hit seven of their 10 shots from beyond the arc on the night.
Brandon Randolph steal and dunk. 💪🏿
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 12, 2018
Sean Miller’s squad enters the weekend slotted at No. 54 in the latest KenPom rankings after getting out to a perfect 3-0 start in PAC 12 play. The Wildcats scoring 106.1 points per 100 possessions (115th in the NCAA) for the season, while turning the ball over on only 16.4 percent of their offensive possessions (35th in the NCAA). Despite winning their first three conference games, the Wildcats have taken a step back offensively during PAC-12 play, averaging just 104.9 points per 100 possessions (7th in the PAC 12). However, they’ve managed to survive by hitting 39.6 percent of their 3-point attempts (3rd in the PAC 12) and 80.0 percent of their free throw attempts (2nd in the PAC 12).
On defense, Arizona is allowing 93.9 points per 100 possessions (32nd in the NCAA) and limiting opposing teams to just 29.7 percent shooting from 3-point range (37th in the NCAA). They have forced their opponents to cough up the basketball on 22.1 percent of their defensive possessions (40th in the NCAA), while holding them to an effective field goal percentage of 48.8 percent (104th in the NCAA).
Cal remains winless in PAC 12 play
California lost their fourth straight contest on Wednesday night, falling at home to Arizona State 80-66. Matt Bradley scored 19 and Darius McNeill had 16 for the Golden Bears, who shot 38.4 percent from the field in the loss.
Matt Bradley talks about how he feels about coming off the bench versus starting. #Cal #Guard #Berkeley #NorCal #Oakland #BayArea #GoBears #NCAA #Collegebasketball #ItsAwesomeBaby @calmbball pic.twitter.com/RraQ65XiJX
— drey_avalos (@drey_avalos) December 19, 2018
Wyking Jones has not had an easy time turning around the Cal basketball program over the past two seasons and is now 13-34 as a DI-head coach. The Golden Bears come in ranked No. 210 in the latest KenPom rankings and they are scoring 107.3 points per 100 possessions for the season (86th in the NCAA), however, that number is all the way down to 99.1 points per 100 possessions through three conference games (10th in the PAC 12). California sports an effective field goal percentage of 48.1 percent (9th in the PAC 12) and they are shooting 47.8 percent from two-point range (10th in the PAC 12) and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc (9th in the PAC 12).
On defense, the Golden Bears are allowing 111.4 points per 100 possessions (328th in the NCAA) and opposing teams have been able to get nearly anything they’ve wanted against Cal’s defense this year. They have allowed opponents to shoot 56.2 percent from inside the arc (326th in the NCAA) and 38.1 percent from 3-point range (320th in the NCAA) through their first 15 games. Opponents also own an offensive rebounding rate of 32.1 percent (296th in the NCAA) and a free throw rate of 39.2 percent (287th in the NCAA).
- Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Golden Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Pacific-12.
- Wildcats are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Wildcats are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The road team has covered the spread in each of the last five meetings between these two schools and Arizona comes into this game riding their longest winning streak of the season. The Wildcats are the more talents team and they are 2-1 on the road so far this season. Look for them to cover the number on the road at the Haas Pavilion on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pick: Arizona Wildcats -8
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have gone over the projected total in 11 of their last 16 meetings in California, but neither of these two teams is particularly skilled on the offensive end. These two schools have gone under in four of their last five meetings and the Golden Bears have stayed under the projected total in 14 of their last 19 conference games. Look for those trends to continue and take the under in this PAC 12 battle on Saturday.
Prediction: Under 144