ARIZONA WILDCATS (20-0)
at STANFORD CARDINAL (13-6)
Maples Pavilion - Stanford, CA
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Arizona -5.5, Total: 134.5
Undefeated Arizona will face one of its tougher remaining tests on Wednesday night as it travels to Stanford, a team that has already beaten two ranked squads this season.
No. 1 Arizona is coming off a difficult 65-56 SU victory against Utah, marking its second straight ATS loss. Overall the Wildcats are 13-6 ATS (4-3 ATS in Pac-12) including a perfect 4-0 ATS in road contests. But Sean Miller is 8-25 ATS (24%) off a home win against a conference rival as head coach of Arizona. After a two-game losing skid to begin Pac-12 play, Stanford has won four of its past five games. One of those wins was against then-No. 17 Oregon, while the Cardinal has also taken down then-No. 10 UConn 53-51 earlier in the season. Overall, Stanford is 10-6-1 ATS (4-3 ATS in Pac-12) and 6-2 ATS at home. But it will be up against one of the stingiest defensive teams in the nation against the Wildcats, and Division I teams that give up less than 57 PPG on Wednesday games are 96-52 ATS (65%) over the past five seasons. Arizona has won the past seven meetings between these two programs, going 5-2 ATS in that span.
Can Arizona remain unbeaten on Wednesday with a tough road victory? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts have been rolling in college basketball Best Bets this season with a 60% ATS (178-119-5) mark, including a stellar 63% ATS (146-85) record since Nov. 23. StatFox Brian is at 64% ATS (38-21-1) in Best Bets for the season and 69% ATS (31-14) since Nov. 26. StatFox Dave is 62% ATS (38-23-1) for the season and 72% ATS (21-8) since Dec. 18, while StatFox Zach is a strong 59% ATS (34-24-1) on Best Bets this season, including 62% ATS (28-17) since Nov. 22. StatFox Scott is also 59% ATS (36-25) for the season and 62% ATS (26-16) since Dec. 2, while StatFox Gary is 55% ATS (32-26-2) for the season, and 61% ATS (26-17) since Nov. 29.
Arizona doesnít run at a super fast pace offensively with only 75.0 PPG (100th in Div. I), but they are quite efficient with a 48.6% FG clip (18th in nation) and 15.6 APG (31st in Div. I). Where the Wildcats really dominate teams is on the other end of the floor, limiting opponents to a paltry 56.7 PPG (4th in nation) on 37.2% shooting (5th in Div. I), including 29.4% shooting from three-point range (24th in nation). Junior SG Nick Johnson (16.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.5 APG) leads the offense, making 50% of his field goal attempts. The teamís other two double-digit scorers both play down low: Freshman PF Aaron Gordon (12.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG) and sophomore SF Brandon Ashley (12.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG). And 7-foot C Kaleb Tarczewski (9.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG) is why this team is outrebounding its opponents by 10.1 RPG this season. But Ashley, Johnson and Tarczewski went a combined 3-for-14 last season against the Cardinal, and that kind of production won't cut it on Wednesday. The offense is facilitated by PG T.J. McConnell (7.0 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.9 RPG), who isnít much of a scorer, but handles the ball for the offense and sets up a lot of the teamís baskets with a strong 2.8 Ast/TO ratio.
Stanford averages 76.9 PPG this season (61st in Div. I) on a stellar 48.1% FG clip (27th in nation), with their opponents averaging 70.2 PPG (186th in Div. I). With 36.5 RPG, the Cardinal are outrebounding their opponents by 3.2 RPG, but they don't create too many turnovers (10.9 TOPG) with a meager 4.9 SPG (309th in nation). Junior SG Chasson Randle (19.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG) is one of the most effective scorers in the Pac-12, shooting 49% from the field and 40% from three-point range. But Randle went 3-for-11 with 11 points last season against Arizona, and is just 8-for-28 FG (29%) since his 33-point outburst against Washington on Jan. 18. Six-foot-10 senior PF Dwight Powell (14.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.9 APG) had a double-double last season against the Wildcats, scoring 24 points (7-of-14 FG) with 10 rebounds and four assists, and he has played very well in his past three games with 16.0 PPG and 9.7 RPG. Senior SF Josh Huestis (11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG) leads the team in rebounding, averaging 13.7 PPG and 9.3 RPG over the teamís past three contests. Junior swingman Anthony Brown (13.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG) also presents matchup problems, hitting 50% threes (31-of-62) with his 6-foot-6 frame.