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Arizona vs. UCLA prediction and pick for Thursday's college basketball marquee matchup on ESPN. Handicapper Jason Radowitz breaks down the game and gives us his pick for this PAC 12 showdown.
ANALYSIS

Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction: Which Powerhouse Pac 12 Team Will Come Out on Top?

Before the NCAA Tournament, a lot of college basketball fans never paid much attention to the Pac-12. Most thought the conference was dying and that the talent was mainly in the Big 12, SEC, and Big Ten. Some even thought that the Big East was a better overall conference for basketball. But after the Pac-12 made some noise in the NCAA Tournament last year, people are now giving the Pac-12 a chance.

The UCLA Bruins will take on the Arizona Wildcats in a game between two top 10 ranked opponents via the AP Poll. These two teams already played against one another last week and will play another one tonight. UCLA won the first matchup pretty easily. A win in this game, for both teams, would help seeding and AP ranking but more importantly, it would help to seed for the Pac-12 Tournament. Here are our picks and predictions for the Pac-12 matchup between the UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats.

Arizona vs. UCLA Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Thursday, February 3

Game Time: 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Click Here for Arizona vs. UCLA Odds

Arizona vs. UCLA Injury Report

UCLA

Questionable: G Jamie Jaquez Jr. (Ankle), G Jaylen Clark (Head), G Johnny Juzang (Illness) Out: F Mac Etienne (Knee)

Arizona

Out: F Kim Aiken Jr. (Personal)

Arizona Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Line Movement

Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction

The UCLA Bruins could be shorthanded for tonight's game against Arizona. Top players like Jamie Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang are both questionable for today's game. It's looking as though both will play in this game, but it's not a given and definitely something to look out for before betting this game.

UCLA already defeated Arizona, at home, 75-59 just last week. UCLA's defense made it hard on Arizona in that game, as the Wildcats shot just 34 percent from inside the arc and 25 percent from three. Arizona earned many more offensive rebounds, but that was due to the many more shots that were missed in that game.

Both defenses are in the top 10 via KenPom. Arizona has allowed teams to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 42.4 percent while holding opponents to just 32.2 percent from three and 39.2 percent from inside the arc. Meanwhile, UCLA has held opponents to a 46.8 percent effective field goal percentage and do the little things better, like limiting rebounds and earning more turnovers.

On offense, UCLA is limiting turnovers to 13.8 percent, so there's a good chance that UCLA continues to win the turnover battle in this game. The Bruins are also shooting 35.4 percent from three will need to shoot more shots from outside knowing Arizona has held opponents to under 40 percent from inside the arc.

Arizona, on the other hand, is shooting at a much higher rate this season, hitting 56.9 percent of shots inside the arc. The Wildcats are assisting on 66 percent of buckets, which is also the best rate in college basketball.

As long as UCLA is healthy for this game, UCLA should be able to cover the 7-point spread. The Bruins already defeated Arizona a week ago! If a couple of guys are out for UCLA, then I'd stay away from betting UCLA.

Arizona Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins Pick

Article Author

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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.

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