No. 8 Arizona Basketball faces tough road test with Utah

Colorado v Utah
Colorado v Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Now winners of three straight games, No. 8 Arizona Basketball (17-5, 8-3) faces a tough road test with Utah (15-7, 6-5).

Returning to action after coming from behind the Stanford Cardinal, No. 8 Arizona Basketball faces a daunting road trip, starting with a matchup against the Utah Utes.

Coming in, the Wildcats will look to earn the regular season sweep against the Utes but make no mistake, this one won't be easy. Utah is a competitive team, and as we've learned this season, winning on the road is tough, and the Utes are currently 12-0 at home.

Arizona is considered the favorite here; however, the Utes are talented and well-coached, and if the Wildcats are going to win, they will need to play well.

Hopefully, we see our Wildcats continue their dominant ways and put together another solid performance like we saw in the second half on Sunday against Stanford. Should Arizona take care of business like they are supposed to, I see them coming away with a hard-earned win against the Utes!

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the Utah Utes.

Team: Utah Utes

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

Current Record: 15–7 (6–5)

Head Coach: Craig Smith. Now in his 13th season as a head coach (3rd with Utah), overall, Coach Smith is 43–42 (20–31) with the Utes.

Before he arrived in Utah, Craig was at Mayville State from 2004-07, South Dakota from 2014-18, and Utah State from 2018-21. Overall, he is 268–150 as a head coach with eight postseason berths (including the Covid year in 2020 when he was at Utah State). 

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with a 17–15 (10–10) record, the Utes ended its year with a first-round loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament.

So with Arizona Basketball taking on Utah, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs Utah Information and Details:

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2024

Time: 6:00 P.M. MST / 5:00 P.M. PST

Television: Pac-12 Network

Location: Jon M. Huntsman Center – Salt Lake City, UT (15,000)

Spread: -5.0 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 37-31 Arizona. This is a head-to-head series that dates back to as early as the 1953-54 season. Since then, this has been a fairly close series with Arizona holding the slim advantage; however, the Wildcats have dominated as of late, winning 19 of the last 23 meetings.

Last Meeting: Facing off back in early January of this year, Arizona came away with the dominant win at home, beating the Utes by a 92-73 final in Tucson!

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

Winners of three straight, No. 8 Arizona Basketball returns to action on Thursday evening for a huge showdown with the Utah Utes. And coming in, we should be in store for a good one.

The Utes currently sit in fourth place in the Pac-12 and are currently undefeated at home. This will be a great opportunity for them to strengthen their postseason resume and we know they are going to give the Wildcats everything they got.

Largely led by Branden Carlson, their senior big man has been their go-to guy, and currently Branden is having a solid season, averaging 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

Beyond that, Utah gets solid guard play from Gabe Madsen, Rollie Worster, Cole Bajema, and Deivon Smith, and together, this group does a lot of things well, and they should test the Wildcats' perimeter defense. 

Offensively, the Utes are skilled. They run and spread the floor well, averaging 78.4 points per game on 47.3 percent shooting from the field, including 36.8 percent from three.

While Arizona should have the advantage overall, the Utes have a lot of athletes, and as we said, we expect this one to be a fight to the end.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one and will continue their winning ways against Utah. Tip-off for Thursday's game against the Utes is at 6:00 P.M. Tucson time, and the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

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