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California Tries To Punch Its Tournament Ticket

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/24/2014 10:02:10 PM

In a rematch of the eventful game in Berkeley a month ago that gave Arizona its first loss on the season, the California Golden Bears travel to Tucson, looking to help their bubble chances while Arizona looks to close in on a Pac-12 regular season crown.

California Golden Bears @ Arizona Wildcats – Wednesday, February 26

Why California Will Win

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will note that in the person of Justin Cobbs, the Golden Bears have one of the biggest sources of kryptonite for Arizona’s stingy halfcourt defense, a guard who can take his defender off the dribble. If there’s one thing in Arizona head coach Sean Miller’s tenure that has given the Wildcats’ defense fits, it is a guard who can penetrate and take advantage of switches Arizona likes to run on screens. Cobbs fits that bill, and he beat Arizona with a last-second jump shot in the first meeting between these teams, hitting a stepback dagger over Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski.

Cal and specifically head coach Mike Montgomery have had success against Arizona in recent years, and in Montgomery’s case, this goes back to his time at Stanford. Cal’s big men have the ability to step away from the basket and hit jumpers, something a lot of the Pac-12’s bigs don’t do. Cal’s frontcourt players can take Tarczewski out of his comfort zone on defense. If David Kravish shoots like he did in the first meeting and Cal can stop Arizona in transition, the Bears could be the first team to win in the McKale Center this year.

No bet on this game should ignore the reality that Cal is a tough matchup for Arizona – that’s just the way it is.

Why Arizona Will Win

When online basketball betting experts look at this game, they will realize that Arizona is improving and adjusting to imperfect circumstances. It took time for Arizona to figure out how to adjust to life without Brandon Ashley, but the Wildcats may have finally put together the recipe on Saturday night in Colorado, as Arizona had one of its best offensive performances of the season. Arizona still possesses one of the best frontlines in the country, even without Ashley. This team generates a lot of offensive rebounds. Cal didn’t have much success slowing down Tarczewski in the first meeting, and the odds are it could be a bad matchup again for the Golden Bears on the glass.

Football betting experts with little college basketball knowledge might not realize that  Arizona is very good at home having yet to lose on its home court. Add in the fact Nick Johnson was 1 for 14 in the first meeting between the teams and yet Cal still only won at the buzzer and flipping the home court with the unlikely idea that Johnson repeats his performance and it is very suggestive Arizona can win a rematch.

Who Will Win

Arizona has proven all season to be the superior team, and while upsets happen, the odds of a Cal team which has been staggering the last few weeks going into Tucson and sweeping one of the country’s best teams seems like a longshot at best.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Arizona

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