TV Schedule: Thursday, Jan. 7, 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN3
Stadium: Pauley Pavilion
Getting right to it: The Arizona Wildcats are on upset alert.
The UCLA Bruins don’t have the most appealing record in college hoops (9-6), but one can’t forget that UCLA has knocked off the Kentucky Wildcats and Gonzaga Bulldogs, proving that when things are going right, it can knock off any team in the country.
Meanwhile, Arizona stands at 13-1 entering this game, and it also is ranked as high as No. 6. Basically, the Wildcats are doing what we expected them to do — be one of the best teams in the nation.
Although UCLA does have two major wins to its name, it is already 0-2 in conference play. Arizona, of course, is perfect in Pac-12 play (1-0). The Wildcats are also riding an eight-game winning streak, and their only loss came against Providence (aka a national title contender). The Wildcats’ best win has come against Gonzaga.
Arizona has just three players who are averaging double figures in the scoring department, but all three are averaging 13+. Then there is UCLA, who has five guys averaging double figures in scoring. Two of those players are putting up 16+ PPG.
The Bruins might have some scorers, but it is hard to overlook this stat: They are allowing 76.5 PPG. Arizona, in comparison, is only giving up 63.3 PPG.
Nonetheless, UCLA will be playing at home, and it has to capture its first Pac-12 victory at some point.
Life is too boring not to go bold, so I am going with the upset.
PREDICTION: Wildcats 78, Bruins 84