Arizona Wildcats (34-3 SU, 23-14 ATS)Arizona man-handled Xavier on Thursday night to win 68-60, though the Wildcats narrowly failed to cover the spread as a 10.5-point favorite. Point guard T.J. McConnell put on another fine performance to lead Arizona to victory. The heady floor leader scored a team-high 17 points while grabbing an impressive seven rebounds and adding five assists. Arizona also got a dozen points apiece from lead scorer Stanley Johnson and forward Kaleb Tarczewski while limiting Xavier to 3-for-17 shooting from beyond the arc. The Wildcats have won a whopping 14 consecutive games heading into the Elite Eight but has alternated ATS wins and losses over their last six games. Arizona averages a stellar 76.6 points per game (22nd) on an incendiary 48.6 percent shooting mark (8th) while limiting their opponents to just 59.0 points per game to rank 14th in the nation.
Wisconsin Badgers (34-3 SU, 19-17 ATS)Wisconsin was mostly masterful in dispatching North Carolina 79-72 in an entertaining Sweet 16 showdown on Thursday while narrowly covering the March Madness betting line as a 6-point favorite. The Badgers got a team-high 23 points and 10 rebounds from sweet-shooting forward Sam Dekker while superstar big man Frank ‘The Tank’ Kaminsky added 19 points and eight boards. Wisconsin made 20 of 23 free throw attempts with Kaminsky going 8-for-8 from the charity stripe and Dekker nailing his only two attempts. The Badgers have won nine straight games and snapped a three-game ATS skid to improve to 3-2 ATS over their last five games. Wisconsin averages a respectable 72.5 points per game (55th) and doubles as one of the best defensive teams in the country as well, limiting their opponents to just 57.2 points per game defensively (10th).
Game AnalysisWhile I’ve been really impressed with the Arizona Wildcats so far, I just don’t se them taking down a Wisconsin ballclub that is more mature and more experienced and will have the best player on the floor in forward Frank Kaminsky.
Arizona has a slew of high-flying athletic players like superstar freshman forward Stanley Johnson that can put the ball in the hole in a variety of ways, but Wisconsin has the multi-faceted Kaminsky and another likely NBA performer in the blossoming Sam Dekker. Both teams have rock-steady backcourts and both have outstanding head coaches. In the end, this contest really boils down to whom you like…the more athletic, but less experienced Arizona Wildcats or the ‘Cool Hand Luke’ Wisconsin Badgers and their collection of sweet-shooters and superstar big man Frank Kaminsky. Arizona has gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams from the Big Ten and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning SU record. The Wildcats have also compiled a blistering15-5 ATS mark in their last 20 games, but are just 1-4 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games. Wisconsin has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams from the Pac-12 and an incendiary 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 non-conference games. With the Badgers going 8-3-1 ATS in their last dozen NCAA Tournament games, they’re my pick to win and cash in!
Wisconsin star's rise typifies blue-collar program: The 7-foot center for Wisconsin is a candidate for nationa… http://t.co/VTY9oe4KNW— World_News_N1 (@World_News_N1) March 26, 2015