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TCU Horned Frogs vs Arizona Wildcats Betting Preview

The last game of an exhilarating first weekend of NCAA tournament hoops features a matchup between the No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs (21-12) and the No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (32-3). This game will be played at Viejas Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:40 pm ET.

Playing in the Southern region, the winner of this game will square off with the winner of No. 4 Illinois and No. 5 Houston on Thursday.

TCU was able to make easy work of No. 8 Seton Hall in their opening-round matchup, 69-42. In the win, Mike Miles led all scorers with 21 points while Damion Baugh added 14.

Arizona also had a relatively low-stress opening round as they took down the No. 16 Wright State Raiders 87-70. Bennedict Mathurin had a team-high 18 points, while Christian Koloko had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Arizona is the overwhelming favorite in this one. They are -550 to win while the Horned Frogs’ moneyline sits at +400. The spread features TCU +10 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 144.

More Odds

Arizona is currently tied for the second-best odds of winning the National Championship at +600. The Horned Frogs currently have the worst odds of winning it all at +30000.

By The Numbers

The Wildcats have been one of the best offenses in the nation this season. They rank third in scoring averaging 84.6 points per game. TCU ranks 236th, averaging 68.1 points.

Defensively, TCU has the advantage. They rank 31st in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 64.3 points per game. Arizona ranks 118th allowing 67.6 points.

TCU Will Need Another Strong Effort On Defense To Take Down Wildcats

TCU’s defense was on another level Friday. In fact, the 42 points that they allowed to Seton Hall is the lowest total they have allowed all year.

Ranked 31st in the nation in scoring defense, TCU will need the defense to step to a whole new level against Arizona’s high-octane offense.

On the offensive side, TCU has been mediocre at best. They are led by sophomore guard Mike Miles. This season, he is averaging 15.2 points despite shooting just 38.8 percent from the field. He is also averaging 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

The Horned Frogs have two others averaging double digits in Damion Baugh and Emanuel Miller. For Baugh, he is averaging 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Not to be outdone, Miller is averaging 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Arizona Looks To Continue Winning Streak

Arizona is certainly playing its best ball at the right time. In fact, they come into this one, having won seven in a row and scoring at least 81 points in each of them. They will look to that offense to help propel them to an eighth straight win and a trip to the Sweet 16.

Leading the offense for the Wildcats is sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin. He is averaging 17.4 points on an impressive 45.7percent shooting. Mathurin is also averaging 5.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and a steal per game.

The Wildcats have depth, too, as Azuolas Tubelis (14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals), Christian Koloko (12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks), and Kerr Kriisa (10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists) can all go off at any time.

Of some concern, Kriisa is questionable for Sunday night’s contest with an ankle injury.

Take TCU And The Points

Undoubtedly, Arizona has one of the best offenses in the country, but in the opening round, TCU showed their defense can’t be overlooked.

Furthermore, TCU has played well on the road. Whether it be at a neutral site or a true road game, the Horned Frogs are a combined 11-5-1 against the spread when playing away from home this year.

It might be a bit too far-fetched to see them pulling off the upset straight up, but there is good value in taking TCU at +10.

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