Each week during the college basketball season, I will offer my picks and predicted final scores for the biggest games on Saturday, as well as a handful of mid-major matchups. It's a bit early in the season to give projected point spreads -- there are still fairly dramatic differences between the various sets of power ratings that are respected by the betting markets here in Las Vegas. I've taken the liberty of giving out a predicted final score instead. This way, when the lines are released Friday evening, you'll have at least one Vegas pro's opinion as to what the final scores might look like.
Arizona is a legitimate top-10 team. The Wildcats have already survived a tough road test at San Diego State and they've got a signature win against Duke in a neutral site game at Madison Square Garden. Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell has been nothing short of stellar as a pass-first point guard, with a better than 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Nick Johnson has stepped into his role as a go-to scorer down the stretch of tight games. Aaron Gordon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kaleb Tarczewski are a strong defensive trio in the low post, preventing easy buckets.