Arizona Basketball opens Tournament play against Wright State

After winning the Pac-12 Conference Title, Arizona Basketball (31-3, 18-2) begins their Tournament action against Wright State (22-13, 15-7). 

The NCAA Tournament is finally here as No. 2 Arizona Basketball returns to action to take on 16-seed Wright State on Friday afternoon.

Coming in, the Wildcats are heavily favored and rightfully so, rattling off six-straight wins which includes a Pac-12 Tournament Championship win over conference rival, UCLA.

On the flip side of that, Wright State is no pushover. Even as a 16-seed, the Raiders are a tough team, having also won six straight games, including their play-in game against Bryant in which Wright State seemingly controlled the Bulldogs from start to finish.

The Wildcats are considered by many to be the favorites to bring home the hardware this year, but hopefully, the extra attention doesn’t get to Arizona’s head here. Tommy Lloyd and the Wildcats will need to stay sharp from the start if they are to continue their winning ways and advance to see another day!

Getting to Know the details of Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the Wright State Raiders.

Team: Wright State Raiders

Conference: Horizon Conference

2020-21 Record: Finishing the year with an 18–6 (16–4) record in 2020-21, the Raiders finished in 1st place in the conference, but unfortunately fell to then 8-seeded Milwaukee in the Quarterfinals of the Horizon Conference Tournament. Wright State, unfortunately, missed the NCAA Tournament.

Head Coach: Scott Nagy enters his 6th season with the Raiders, having compiled a 131–62 (84–30) record so far. However, Scott has been coaching at this level for quite some time as he is in his 27th season overall. Scott made a previous stint with South Dakota State (1995–2016) where he compiled a 410–240 (207–101) record. He is 541–302 overall as a head coach.

Keys to the Game:

Slow Down the trio of Tanner Holden, Grant Basile, and Trey Calvin – Together, the three account for a majority of the teams’ overall production. And against Bryant, they had big days, scoring 37 points, 14 points, and 21 points respectively.

The Raiders go as far as they go, and if Arizona is to win this matchup, they are going to have to slow these guys down as much as possible. Should they go off like they did against Bryant, and it could be a tough one.

Stick to your Strengths –Arizona is an unstoppable team when they play to their strengths, and against Wright State, the Wildcats will need to come out and play the way they always do, forcing the Raiders to keep up.

If Arizona sticks to the strengths, they’re going to be a tough team to beat, so sticking to what they do will be important!

Don’t Overlook your Opponent – This is a team that largely hasn’t played in the NCAA Tournament outside of Oumar Ballo who hails from Gonzaga. And being that this is a new experience, now isn’t the to get caught up in the moment, otherwise, the Wildcats will get beat.

For now, it is a matter of taking things one game at a time and sticking to the task at hand. So long as Arizona does that, and focuses on beating Wright State, the Wildcats should win going away.

Arizona Basketball versus the Wright State Raiders game information and details:

Date: Friday, March 18, 2022

Time: 4:27 P.M. (Arizona Time)

Location: Viejas Arena, San Diego, Calif. (12,414)

Spread: -21.5 Arizona (Also, don’t forget to use WynnBet to enhance your overall betting experience)

Television: truTV

Radio: 107.5 FM (Tucson) / 1290AM (Tucson) | Arizona IMG Sports Network

Team Records:

No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (31-3, 18-2): Fresh off of winning the Pac-12 Conference Tournament title, the Wildcats return to action for what should be a competitive matchup against 16th seeded Wright State.

No. 16 Wright State Raiders (22-13, 15-7):The Raiders are rolling, having won six straight and stringing together some rather big conference wins. However, Wright State will arguably have their biggest challenge of yet as they take on No. 1 seed Arizona.

Head-to-Head Record (since 1949-50): Since 1949-50, Arizona has faced Wright State just once which was back during the 2004-05 season. The Wildcats currently own the all-time series lead 1-0.

Last Meeting vs. Arizona: The last time the Wildcats played the Raiders was in Tucson during the 2004-05 season. Arizona came away with the big win, defeating Wright State 83-66.

My Prediction: Arizona 85 Wright State 70 – Wright State is a talented and high-scoring team like Arizona. They like to shoot the ball from deep, and against Bryant, they were firing on all cylinders converting on 9 of 21 three-point attempts, en route to the 93-82 victory.

However, Arizona is a different kind of animal and with the length and athleticism the Wildcats have, it’ll be too much in this one as Arizona comes away with the double-digit win.