2022 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen: No. 1 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 5 Houston Cougars
How to Watch:
- Date: Thursday, March 24
- Time: 9:59 p.m. ET
- Location: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
- TV: TBS
- Live Stream: NCAA.com
Tale of the Tape:
|No. 1 ARIZ||STAT||No. 5 HOU|
|84.6 (4th)||Points Per Game||75.8 (62nd)|
|67.5||Points Allowed Per Game||58.9|
|0.6491 (2nd)||RPI||0.6335 (8th)|
|68th||Strength of Schedule||93rd|
|Automatic Bid||Bid||Automatic Bid|
Can’t Miss Offer From Caesars
- Bennedict Mathurin, G, SO: 17.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 37.6% 3PT
- Azuolas Tubelis, F, SO: 14.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 55.3% FG
- Kyler Edwards, G, SR: 16.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG
- Fabian White Jr., F, SR: 13.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.5 BPG, 50.7% FG
Odds, Lines, and Past Performance:
- ARIZ Moneyline: -125
- HOU Moneyline: +105
- Spread: ARIZ -1.5
- Over/Under: 145
- ATS Record: ARIZ 21-14-1, HOU 24-12
- Over/Under Record: ARIZ 22-14, HOU 14-20-2
Odds courtesy of Draftkings. For the latest odds, click here.
- This could easily be a Final Four matchup. The Wildcats are one of the favorites to win the national title and for good reason. This team is currently 3rd in KemPom rankings and features the 7th-ranked offense and 18th-ranked defense. Houston is one spot ahead of them currently as the 2nd ranked team with the 10th ranked offense and 10th-ranked defense.
- The Wildcat offense has beautiful ball movement, which leads to assists on 65.2% of their baskets and makes them incredibly hard to guard. They’re an incredibly big team, with KemPom ranking them as the 2nd-biggest team in the tournament, but the guards will be the key for them to make a deep run. We already saw Mathurin, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, show up when it matters the most, scoring 30 points with eight rebounds and four assists in an overtime win against TCU in the second round.
- However, point guard Kerr Kriisa did not look like himself after an injury in the Pac-12 tournament. He was just 1-10 from the field against TCU and will need to get healthier before Thursday if they’re going to have a chance to beat the Cougars.
- The Cougars’ guards lifted them to this point as well. Kyler Edwards went for 25 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the first round and then 15 points and six rebounds against Illinois while Taze Moore had 21 points and seven rebounds against Illinois and Jamal Shead had 18 points, steals assists, and three steals. The guards are going to have to keep up their strong play if Houston is going to pull the upset.
- The Cougars will also need to shoot like they did in the first round, when they hit 47.6% from three against UAB, and not in the second round, when they shot 27.3% against Illinois. If they can’t hit their threes, it’s going to be tough to score inside on these Wildcats.
- This will be a major contrast of styles as the Wildcats play at the 8th-fastest adjusted tempo in the nation, but the Cougars play a molasses-slow pace, ranking 338th in the country, and has the 11th-ranked defense in the country. Whichever team can impose its will in terms of the pace of play will likely have a major advantage in flipping the outcome into their favor.
- A deciding factor, if this is close in the end, could come down to free throws. The Cougars rank 320th in the country at 66.9% and shot 53.3% in round one. Meanwhile, the Wildcats ranks 99th and made clutch free throws down the stretch in the win over TCU.