MBB preview: No. 8 Arizona vs. No. 4 UCLA


Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball player Kylan Boswell celebrates his teammate’s 3-point score on Dec. 13, 2022 in McKale Center. The Wildcats won the game against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a score of 99-61.

Ryan Wohl

In just a couple hours, the No. 8 Arizona men’s basketball team will take on the No. 4 UCLA Bruins in a prime time matchup on ESPN at 8 p.m.

This is the last regular season matchup for both teams before they head to Las Vegas in a couple days to compete with several other teams in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Throughout the past few matchups it has been one-sided with Arizona winning each of the past three games. But the Wildcats haven’t beaten the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion since Jan. 21, 2017. Arizona won just four of the last 10 games between the two teams.

The first game between Arizona and UCLA this current season was Jan. 21 in McKale Center. The Wildcats won the game by 6 points while holding the Bruins’ best three guards Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Jaylen Clark to about 29 percent (14-48) shooting from the field. Arizona shot the ball poorly in this contest too while being about 39 percent from the field and about 28 percent from 3-point range.

At that time, UCLA was ranked No. 4 and Arizona was No. 11, similar to tonight’s game where Arizona is a few spots lower.

Since Arizona beat UCLA earlier in the season, the Bruins have won nine of their last 10 games and have won the regular season Pac-12 Championship. Arizona has won eight out of their last 10 games since the two last played.

The Wildcats are coming off a 6-point victory against the University of Southern California Trojans on Thursday night. Azuolas Tubelis had his best performance in a month while scoring 25 points along with 10 rebounds. Arizona also shot the ball 50% from deep in this game.

UCLA beat ASU on Thursday night, March 2, by 18 points, 79-61. This is the same ASU team that Arizona lost to by 1 point one week ago in Tucson. UCLA’s big three Jaquez, Campbell and Clark combined for 59 points and 21 rebounds in this game.

Although the seeding for the Pac-12 Tournament is set in stone with UCLA being the No. 1 seed and Arizona the No. 2 seed, there is still a lot on the line in tonight’s game.

This is one of the most storied rivalries in college sports and one that will impact the seeding for the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

On the last Saturday of the college basketball regular season, this is the best matchup and should be an exciting game.

Location in person: Pauley Pavilion


Time: 8 p.m. MST

Betting line: Arizona +5.5

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