|-9.5 ARIZ (-108) @ pinnacle|
There were six top-tier teams to begin this year’s March Madness with a high probability to make it to the Final Four and compete for the championship. These teams were Gonzaga, Houston, Baylor, UCLA, Auburn, and Arizona. With Baylor out of The Big Dance we’re now down to five, and Arizona will look to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16 tonight. Whereas the Wildcats are one of the most well-rounded teams (5th in offensive efficiency and 20th in defensive efficiency), the TCU Horned Frogs are lopsided in favor of their defense (80th in offensive efficiency and 24th in defensive efficiency). We expect the large disparity between these two offenses to be the deciding factor in tonight’s matchup.
Height is another advantage for Arizona, as they have two seven-footers in centers Oumar Ballo and Christian Koloko. This height advantage played into the Wildcats’ first round dominance of Wright State and should provide the same against the Horned Frogs. To beat this Arizona team, it will take a complete game from TCU as the Wildcats hold a statistical advantage in nearly every category. When you consider TCU’s 230th ranked offensive effective field goal percentage (48.9%) going up against Arizona’s 8th best defensive effective field goal percentage, this “potential upset” seems even more likely.
The only direct advantage that the Horned Frogs have over the Wildcats comes down to their ability to get offensive rebounds. Arizona possesses the 183rd ranked defensive rebounding percentage in the nation while TCU boasts the 2nd best this year. How those numbers adjust in tonight’s game will determine whether Arizona wins by single digits or if they blow the doors off this one. We will go with the latter as the model projects a 13 point victory that we could see being even larger than that.
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