Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction, Game Preview

    Arizona vs. UCLA prediction and game preview for when the Bruins host the Wildcats in the Pauley Pavilion.

    January 6, 2016

    The Arizona Wildcats will make the trip to Los Angeles, Calif. to play the UCLA Bruins in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday. Below is the Arizona vs. UCLA prediction and game preview.

    Arizona vs. UCLA Game Preview

    Game Broadcast

    Date: Thursday, Jan. 7
    Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
    Venue: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, Calif.
    Network: ESPN2, ESPN3

    Why You Need To Care

    Head coach Sean Miller has to be happy about his team’s No. 7 ranking. The Wildcats (13-1) have made it to conference play with just one loss, falling to Providence on Nov. 27.

    Arizona picked up its first Pac-12 win against Arizona State on Saturday, 94-82, and it was an offensive outburst for the Wildcats as they put up 53 points in the second half against the Sun Devils.

    UCLA (9-6), on the other hand, has gone ghost again. After starting off 3-3, the Bruins ripped off five straight wins and even knocked off Kentucky and Gonzaga.

    Now Steve Alford’s squad has dropped three of its last four games, and things won’t get any easier with the Wildcats coming to town.

    Why Arizona Will Win

    Gabe York and Allonzo Trier were absolute studs against Arizona State. They combined for 42 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from behind the arc. If York and Trier get off to a hot start against UCLA, the Wildcats will be in prime position to earn their third road win of the season. But Arizona still needs Ryan Anderson to do his part in the paint and on the boards. He’ll have quite the test keeping young Thomas Welsh off the glass.

    Why UCLA Will Win

    The Bruins might have lost to Washington State last time out, but Isaac Hamilton had himself a ballgame with 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting. If Hamilton can space the floor and knock down some triples, that will create chances for Bryce Alford to do his thing, which wasn’t the case against the Cougars. Alford scored just nine points after dropping 30 against Washington. Which version of his son will Steve Alford see? Either way, Welsh needs to establish himself in the interior and crash the offensive glass.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Alford won’t be held under 10 points for a second straight game, but he won’t go off for 30 on Arizona’s defense. York will lead in the scoring column, and Trier will follow. Anderson won’t keep Welsh at bay in the rebounding department and vice versa. But Anderson will do just enough to help give the Wildcats the advantage down low. Arizona cements the win with a few minutes remaining in the second half.

    Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction

    Arizona 80, UCLA 73

    Line: Arizona -3

    MORE: AP Top 25 Takeaways, Week 9


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