The two best teams in the Pac-12 square off Saturday night when No. 7 Arizona travels to face No. 12 Utah. The Wildcats have won five in a row and lead the Utes by one game in the race to be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Utes have captured six of seven and bounced back from their only loss in that stretch with a dominant performance their last time out.
Utah got points from 11 different players, shot 63.3 percent and held Arizona State to 28 percent in Thursday’s 83-41 romp of the Sun Devils. Delon Wright, an All-American candidate who led the team with 12 points on Thursday, will be honored on senior day prior to Saturday’s contest. Arizona’s current stretch of 11 wins in 12 games features 10 double-digit victories, including a 69-51 triumph against Utah last month and an 82-54 pasting of Colorado on Thursday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the Utes as 1.5-point favorites
INJURY REPORT: Arizona – G Trey Mason (Out indefinitely, knee), Utah – N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (-17.2) + Utah (-16.5) + home court (-3.0) = Utah -2.3
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “I can’t see the Wildcats being favored in Utah on Saturday. I see the Wildcats as around a two-point underdog in that game.” Covers Expert Doc’s Sports.
ABOUT ARIZONA (25-3 SU, 13-2 Pac-12, 17-11 ATS, 13-15 O/U): Arizona has surpassed 80 points four times during its five-game winning streak and has given up more than 62 points on twice since the calendar turned to 2015. Five players scored in double figures against the Buffaloes, including freshman Stanley Johnson (team-high 15 points), who also led the team with 18 points and nine boards in the first matchup with Utah. “Our team has found its niche,” said guard Gabe York, who is 7-of-10 from 3-point range over his last two outings. “We’re all playing at a very high level. Our team is jelling together really well.”
ABOUT UTAH (22-5 SU, 12-3, 18-7-1 ATS, 12-12-1 O/U): The Utes blocked 10 shots in the first half against Arizona State and allowed only nine points in the opening 20 minutes as they improved to 15-3 in their last 18 games with all 15 of those wins coming by double figures. “We would’ve needed about 50 timeouts tonight,” said Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek, whose team allowed the Utes to shoot 57.1 percent from 3-point range. “We could’ve called a timeout after every possession. That might have been the only way.” Wright (14.2 points, 5.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals) is the do-it-all senior star for Utah, while junior Brandon Taylor (10.5 points) is looking to rebound from a three-game stretch in which he has shot 8-of-25 from the floor.
* Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Utah.
* Over is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings in Utah.
* Wildcats are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. Pac-12.
* Utes are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 Saturday games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: N/A