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NCAA Tournament Betting — Arizona Hopes That Defense Carries the Day Against Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Badgers looked about as awesome as one can imagine in their last outing against the Baylor Bears. Can they carry that over into the West Region final, with a trip to the Final Four on the line, as they play the Arizona Wildcats? The game, which takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, is slated to get underway at 8:45 PM ET.

Arizona had life-and-death with San Diego State in a rematch in their Sweet 16 matchup, where they emerged with a 70-64 victory and actually did quite well in terms of accuracy from the field, hitting 48% of their shots. Wisconsin, which had made something of a transition from a deliberate, slower-paced team to one that could pick things up a little, out its defense on display by stifling the Baylor Bears and cruised to a 69-52 victory.

Wisconsin is now 29-7 straight-up on the season, and has an 18-16 record against the basketball pointspread. Arizona, which was the top seed in the region, is a sizzling 33-4 straight-up, and has registered a 21-15 mark against the number.

In the NCAA Tournament betting odds that have been established on this game at WagerWeb, the Wildcats are laying a short number:

Arizona Wildcats -3
Wisconsin Badgers +3

Over 132 points -110
Under 132 points -110
There is little doubt that Arizona is going to have to deal with the perimeter shooting of Wisconsin in order to advance. This is what not something they had to contend with against San Diego State, which, like them, is not an extremely explosive offensive squad. Wisconsin will stretch them out quite a bit more. But the Badgers had better achieve better success than most of Arizona’s foes, as the Wildcats allow just 32% shooting from beyond the arc. That’s because the Badgers, who do not do their best work inside, will find it extremely difficult to afford themselves second-chance opportunities.

NCAA tournament bettors will find something rather extraordinary as they look closer at Arizona’s defensive statistics, in particular the shooting percentage against them – the Wildcats, who have surrendered just 38% on an overall basis, have not let ANY opponent shoot 45% from the field in the last 26 games. The last opponent to do it was Michigan, in a 72-70 ‘Zona win on December 14, and the only other school to do it was UNLV on December 7.

That’s what you call consistency.

So if Wisconsin is hoping to make a living against this opponent shooting from the outside, they may find themselves on the wrong end of a lot of stops.

WagerWeb customers who follow college basketball are well aware that Bo Ryan’s teams have always played defense, even though the 42.8% they have allowed this season has not been eye-popping. Baylor, which is legitimately a potent team from the outside, made only two three-pointers in 15 attempts. What’s kind of interesting is the fact that the Bears only attempted that many, because they were way behind early. They just couldn’t get enough open looks.

We can’t sit here and tell NCAA Tournament bettors that Arizona is going to find something in its offense that is going to blow the roof off the Honda Center. But we doubt that Nick Johnson is going to be held back the way he has against San Diego State, which kept him scoreless for 36 minutes before he erupted for 15 points. Again, they are going to have to worry about the free throw shooting, where they have a definite disadvantage here against Wisconsin, which hits nearly 74% compared to just 66% for the ‘Cats.
WagerWeb has you covered when it comes to the best in NCAA Tournament betting action. When you join up, you’ll get yourself a nice bonus and then enough options to make everything easy!!

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