Sunday, February 17, 2013

Utah

With a 3-9 record in conference, the Utes present one of the less challenging road games in the Pac.  However, the Cats have been anything but impressive lately.  It would be nice to see the return of the shooting defense. Cal and Colorado shot a combined 54.4% from the field over the last two, and both teams shot the ball ridiculous well from behind the arc.  The Utes are coming off a nice win against the Sun Devils and gave the Cats a run for the money at McKale. 


On paper, the Utes actually match up fairly well against us.  I should note that the stats above include two incredibly lopsided wins against non-Division I schools, and if those were removed, the match up would appear less balanced.  The executive summary is that, in spite of recent struggles, our offense and defense have been more efficient than Utah's.  The Cats have a distinct size advantage, which should translate to a significant advantage in interior defense and rebounding.  If we can limit the Utes from behind the arc, I think Arizona will bounce back with a win.  Then again, one should always keep this in mind in rematch games.


The simulation, which admittedly hasn't been worth a damn lately, says Arizona is most likely to win by five with a score of 69-64.  It gives us a 63.5% chance of winning.  The Utes slow things down quite a bit, so expect a game that borders on unwatchable.  Last time through Salt Lake City, Solomon Hill was ejected from the game, but the Cats still pulled out a 26 point victory.  Here's to hoping that happens again.

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