Washington will try and play its PAC-12 Conference opener for the fourth time this season when the Huskies travel to Arizona to face the Wildcats on Monday’s NCAA basketball odds schedule.
Washington Huskies vs. Arizona Wildcats
Monday, January 03, 2022 – 08:00 PM EST at McKale Center
More than 200 men’s college basketball games have been postponed or outright canceled so far, the original battle between Washington and Arizona, one of them, a little more than a month ago. The Huskies and Wildcats were originally rescheduled to play later in January, but both teams suffered some recent postponements and decided to move things up to Monday night when Washington and Arizona both had an open date.
If the numbers at the best online betting sites are correct, this one should be a breeze for Arizona. The Wildcats are favored by 22½, which spread up a point from the opener, with the contest available for viewing on the PAC-12 Network. The total has also inched up a bit from the starting point, with most shops listing 151½ for the target.
U-Dub Upset by Utah Valley Last Time Out
A virus outbreak within the Huskies’ program caused the original meeting with Arizona to be waived off on December 2nd, and that subsequently led to Washington also postponing a date with UCLA along with an outright cancellation of a contest with Gonzaga. It added up to a 3-week idle period, and the rust showed in a couple of contests prior to Christmas before the Huskies had a game at Washington State called off last week due to virus problems on the Cougars’ side.
Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins said, “I didn't recognize the team,” in the first half of the game with Seattle, Washington’s first game back after the prolonged break. The Huskies did manage to pull things together in the second half to pull off a 64-56 win and cover, though the fact they were only favored by 4½ at home against the Redhawks will give you an idea of just how far back Washington was on the college basketball futures in the Pac-12.
Hopkins’ cagers weren’t able to repeat that outcome in a follow-up game with Utah Valley, dropping a 68-52 decision as 5½-point home chalk. The Wolverines took the lead for good with about a minute-and-a-half left in the first half, and Utah Valley dominated in nearly every phase of the game as the Huskies missed all 11 shots from 2-point range and were outmuscled on the boards, 44-26.
PAC-12 Loosens Virus Restrictions
Having Arizona’s two-game swing through California for matchups with UCLA and USC called off this past weekend could lead to some scheduling problems for the three schools, and could potentially affect seeding for the PAC-12 Tournament if the contests cannot be played. The early rash of canceled games was no doubt behind the conference shortening isolation periods for players who might test positive for the virus in the future, an obvious effort to at least keep teams from having long layoffs.
Tommy Lloyd’s lads have been sitting around for eleven days since suffering their first loss at Tennessee three days before Christmas. The Volunteers were favored by 1½ at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) and jumped out to a 9-0 lead before withstanding a late flurry from Arizona in the 77-73 final. Lloyd noted his Wildcat were beaten in the post as Tennessee played a physical game on defense, and the Volunteers also outscored Arizona 18-12 at the charity stripe.
Bennedict Mathurin had another big game in the loss at Tennessee, the 6-6 sophomore wing scoring 28 while grabbing eight boards and dishing five assists. It marked the fourth time Mathurin scored 24+ in his last six games, and he continues to lead the Wildcats with 18.3 PPG.
Totals Split Last Eight Meetings
Arizona has dominated the rivalry recently to build a 56-31 advantage over Washington all-time. The Wildcats have won 12 of the last 15 matchups, including both meetings a season ago, though two of the last three played in Tucson have gone the Huskies’ way. The matchup in Seattle last season was an ‘under’ winner while the contest at McKale went ‘over’ the betting odds.
Washington almost had its third upset win in Tucson last February, but Arizona hit a late jumper for the 75-74 dubya. The Wildcats were favored by 14 and held a 9-point lead in the second half. It was the second consecutive ‘over’ at McKale Center in the rivalry.
The voices inside my head have been debating this free college basketball pick, and the only thing they agree on is it’s impossible to know what kind of effort Washington will put forth. Damn the chalk, full speed ahead on the Wildcats!
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.