No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 7 Saint Mary's preview: Game time, broadcast, betting line, prediction
The Arizona Wildcats (31-4) are the No. 2 seed in the West Region, and will take on No. 7 seed Saint Mary's (29-4). The game will be played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 18.
Preview: Arizona got a bit of a game from No. 15 seed North Dakota, which hung around into the second half, but the talented Wildcats proved to be too much for the Fighting Hawks, winning 100-82. Rawle Alkins and Lauri Markkanen went for 20 points a piece, while Allonzo Trier scored 18 for the Wildcats. Not everyone liked Arizona's uniforms for the game, but the Wildcats certainly got the job done in them.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) March 17, 2017
Saint Mary's went up big early on No. 10 VCU, but had to withstand a big comeback bid by the Rams to win the game 85-77. The fantastically-named Jock Landale came through with a big 18-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Gaels.
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Pappas, Jamie Erdahl
Opening Betting Line: Arizona -4, via OddsShark
According to College Basketball Reference, this will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Wildcats and Gaels. Arizona is 3-1 in the series, with three wins in a row, the last coming on December 10, 2005, a 73-61 win. Saint Mary's lone win in the series came back in 1951.
Arizona, one of the proudest programs in the Pac-12, is looking for its 19th trip to the Sweet 16 with a win over Saint Mary's. The team has made it that far four times under Sean Miller, with three of those teams advancing to the Elite Eight. Miller's Wildcats have not broken through to the Final Four during his tenure, however.
Saint Mary's is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament, but Sweet 16 berths have been hard to come by for the Gaels. The team has made it that far twice ever: 1959 and 2010.
Prediction: Gonzaga may be the No. 1 team in the West Region, but Arizona may be the actual favorite. With guys like Trier, Markkanen, and Alkins, the Wildcats are absolutely stacked. It won't be an easy path for Sean Miller to reach his first Final Four at Arizona, but we don't think the Gaels will be enough to upset the Wildcats.
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