The 2023 NCAA Tournament showcases a busy slate of action on Thursday, with Golden 1 Center hosting a slice of the schedule in Sacramento. The No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats face the No. 15 Princeton Tigers in a South Region matchup between conference champions. Arizona won the Pac-12 Tournament and owns a 28-6 record that includes wins over UCLA (twice), Tennessee, Creighton and San Diego State. Princeton won the Ivy League, closing the season with four straight wins, and the Tigers are 21-8 overall.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Wildcats as 14.5-point favorites for this 4:10 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 154 in the latest Princeton vs. Arizona odds. Before making any Arizona vs. Princeton picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's Matt Severance.
Severance is a well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005. He is one of SportsLine's top college basketball experts, entering the week on a sizzling 146-93-1 (+1712) roll on his picks. Anyone following him is way up.
Now, he has set his sights on Arizona vs. Princeton and revealed his coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Princeton vs. Arizona:
- Arizona vs. Princeton spread: Arizona -14.5
- Arizona vs. Princeton over/under: 154 points
- Arizona vs. Princeton money line: Arizona -1100, Princeton +700
- Princeton: The Tigers are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Arizona: The Wildcats are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Arizona vs. Princeton picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Princeton can cover
Princeton is led by a dynamic 6-foot-7 forward in Tosan Evbuomwan. He is averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season, with Evbuomwan converting nearly 53% of shot attempts. Princeton does a fantastic job in ball security with a 16.9% turnover rate, and the Tigers are above the national average in 2-point shooting and free throw creation. Arizona lands below the median in creating havoc on defense, generating a turnover on fewer than 17% of defensive possessions and blocking only 8.3% of shots.
On defense, Princeton truly excels on the glass, posting a top-10 national mark with a 77.2% defensive rebound rate. Opponents are shooting only 33.1% from 3-point distance and 47.2% inside the arc against the Tigers, averaging only 10.9 assists per game in the process. Arizona is below-average in free throw accuracy (70.9%), and the Wildcats struggle in ball security. Arizona has a 10.8% live-ball turnover rate that ranks outside the top 300 of the country this season.
Why Arizona can cover
Arizona has significant edges in talent, size and athleticism in this matchup, and the Wildcats are led by a tremendous frontcourt duo with Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo. Tubelis, a two-time all-conference selection, led the conference in averaging 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season. Tubelis was also No. 2 in the Pac-12 in free throw attempts, and he is shooting 57.5% from the field. Ballo, a 7-foot center, is averaging 14.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while converting nearly 65% of his shots and bludgeoning the opposition at the rim.
That pairing leads Arizona to a top-five mark in the country with 82.7 points per game, and the Wildcats are also near the top of the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Wildcats average 19.2 assists per game, No. 2 in the country and Arizona is shooting 49.6% from the field. That includes 56.6% on 2-point attempts and 38.2% on 3-point attempts this season, with Arizona also securing 31.1% of available offensive rebounds.
How to make Princeton vs. Arizona picks
Severance has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he's leaning Under the point total, he has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing what it is, and which side to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Princeton vs. Arizona on Thursday? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Severance's Princeton vs. Arizona picks, all from the expert who is crushing college basketball, and find out.