No. 12 Arizona Basketball faces UCLA one last time as Pac-12 foes in McKale

UCLA v Utah
UCLA v Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

TUCSON, AZ – Just days after getting back on track with a win over USC, No. 12 Arizona Basketball (13-4, 4-2) faces Pac-12 foe, UCLA (8-10, 3-4).

One last dance! For the last time facing each other as Pac-12 foes inside McKale Center, No. 12 Arizona Basketball will take on UCLA on Saturday afternoon.

And returning to the hardwood, the Wildcats should have a favorable matchup on its hands in this one as they welcome the Bruins to town.

Coming in, UCLA has the talent to win a lot of games, just not necessarily the consistency (see their current 8-10 record).

Hopefully, we will see our Wildcats put an emphasis on focus and intensity in this one, and take advantage against a young basketball squad. Should Arizona take care of business like they are supposed to, they shouldn't have too much trouble against the Bruins!

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the UCLA Bruins.

Team: UCLA Bruins

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

Current Record: 8–10 (3–4)

Head Coach: Mick Cronin. Entering his 21st season as a head coach (5th with UCLA), Coach Cronin is currently 105–46 (58–23) with the Bruins with three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Sweet 16 finishes, and a Final Four appearance in 2020-21.

Before arriving in Westwood, Mick was head coach at Murray State (2003-06) where he was 69–24 (42–10) with two NCAA Tournament appearances. After that, he had a long stint with Cincinnati, coaching the Bearcats to a 296–147 (135–87) record from 2006-19 with 11 Tournament appearances (9 NCAA). Overall, he is 470–217 as a head coach.

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with a 31–6 (18–2) record, the Bruins ended their year with a Sweet 16 loss in the NCAA Tournament to 3rd-seeded Gonzaga in a close battle.

So, as Arizona Basketball takes on UCLA, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs UCLA Information and Details:

Date: Saturday, January 20, 2024

Time: 2:00 P.M. MST / 1:00 P.M. PST

Television: ESPN2

Location: McKale Center – Tucson, AZ (14,545)

Spread: -17.5 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 60-48 UCLA. In what has been a fierce and competitive rivalry, this is a head-to-head matchup that dates back to as early as 1922-23, and since then, the two programs have battled on the hardwood, in recruiting, etc. creating one of the most unique rivalries in college basketball.

Currently, UCLA owns a 60-48 advantage; however, Arizona has won four of the last five meetings, but overall, it has gone the way of the Bruins. And sadly, this will be the last time they meet inside McKale as Pac-12 foes.

Last Meeting: Meeting three times last season, Arizona split the regular season matchups against the Bruins, but it was the Wildcats who got the last laugh, beating UCLA 61-59 to win the Pac-12 Tournament title.

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

Arizona got back on track with a big win over USC on Wednesday; however, now isn't the time to get complacent as upset-minded UCLA comes to town.

Coming in, Arizona should have the advantage in this, but as we've learned in this rivalry, never take anything for granted, and the Wildcats cannot afford to overlook the Bruins.

Despite their record, the Bruins have a lot of skill and talent, it just depends on which UCLA team decides to show up in this one.

Largely led by freshman guard Sebastian Mack and sophomore big man Adem Bona, the Bruins have a nice, one-two scoring punch.

Beyond them, have been Lazar Stefanovic (averaging 9.9 points) and Dylan Andrews (averaging 9.9 points per game).

Offensively, the Bruins are not a prolific scoring team, as they like to play at a slower tempo, averaging 64.9 points per game. They are also not a great shooting team, shooting just 41.8 percent from the field, including 29.6 percent from three.

However, where they excel the most is on defense. This is a group that is holding opponents to 63.9 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting.

While Arizona should have the advantage overall, we expect the Bruins to give the Cats a fight in this one, and look for UCLA to try and slow this one down and make it ugly

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one and will be able to extend their winning streak against the Bruins. Tip-off for Saturday's game against UCLA is at 2:00 P.M. Tucson time, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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