A Pac-12 clash of the heavyweights is set for Tuesday night as No. 3 Arizona will travel to No. 7 UCLA for the first of two meetings and the beginning of what could become a great rivalry. Third-year UCLA coach Mick Cronin has quickly restored the prestige of college basketball’s all-time leader in national championships but should have a formidable conference foe in the Wildcats during the years to come.
First-year coach Tommy Lloyd is in the conversation for national coach of the year awards because of the job he’s done with the Wildcats. The former longtime Gonzaga assistant has successfully implemented the Zags’ offensive philosophy at Arizona and has the Wildcats ranked No. 2 nationally in points per game at 88.7 behind Gonzaga. Arizona is beating league foes by an average of 22.2 points per game.
If anyone in the league can slow the Wildcats down, though, it’s a UCLA team that is allowing just 66.1 points per game. The Bruins haven’t allowed anyone to reach 80 points in regulation of a game this season, and their offense is led by one of the hottest players in the country. Junior wing Johnny Juzang is averaging 24.5 points on 56.9% shooting over his last four games and should be able to go blow for blow with Arizona’s star wing Bennedict Mathurin.
How to watch UCLA vs. Arizona live
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25 | Time: 11 p.m. ET
Location: Pauley Pavilion — Los Angeles
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
UCLA vs. Arizona prediction, picks
Arizona faces a quick turnaround with just one day off between a win at Cal on Sunday and this top-10 road showdown that will help shape the Pac-12 race. But it will take more than scheduling inconveniences to slow down this prolific offense. Fans are back at Pauley Pavilion after COVID-19 restrictions kept the gym quiet since Dec. 1, and the the energy they bring should help UCLA. But the Wildcats should be able to outscore the Bruins and win a thriller. Prediction: Arizona 81, UCLA 76
Who wins every college basketball game? And which teams could sink your bankroll? Visit SportsLine now to see how to pick every college basketball game, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times and has generated over $2,000 in profit the last four-plus years.