The No. 12 Arizona Wildcats have begun the season with two comfortable wins over lesser opposition, but will face off with a Boise State Broncos squad desperate for a win on Thursday night at 8:30 ET in McKale Center.
Many expected the Broncos to be a 2016 NCAA tournament team to begin the season, but Boise State lost 74-72 to the Montana Grizzlies on the road in their opener. Boise State still should be favored to make the Big Dance, because Montana was picked in the preseason to win the Big Sky, and there is still a ton of basketball to be played. However, a win over a potential top three NCAA tournament seed like Arizona could make the remainder of Boise State’s season a whole lot easier.
The Wildcats are much better on paper and will be heavily favored to win this game at home. Boise State looks absolutely awful on defense and needs a miracle to hold off this elite Wildcats team, which boasts seven players who are averaging at least 7.5 points a game. Remember, we have yet to see Allonzo Trier explode in a game so far, and this could be the perfect opportunity for Trier to put up monster numbers.
However, Boise State has the offensive tools to pull off an upset. Three players on this team are averaging over 14 points per game, and Anthony Drmic is averaging 22 while shooting over 55 percent from the field. Arizona has yet to be challenged. If Drmic and James Webb III can score into the 20s, Boise State could catch the Wildcats sleeping early in the season.
That being said, I do not see a scenario in which Arizona loses this game at home. The Wildcats are one of the best teams in the country despite their No. 12 ranking and should easily dispatch a Broncos team that may have had a little bit too much hype entering the season.
Prediction: Arizona 92, Boise State 76