Breakdown: Arizona vs. California

Arizona will open the Pac-12 Tournament with a game against California. Read on to find out more about the game, including stats, a positional breakdown, and score prediction.


California vs Arizona
Mar 12 at 12 pm
TV: Pac-12 Network
MGM Grand

ARIZONA

CALIFORNIA
Overall Record
28-3 (.903)
18-14 (.563)
Location Record
3-0 (1.000) on neutral court
2-1 (.666) on neutral court
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank)
76.6 (20)
58.9 (17)
66.5 (197)
67.4 (198)
Rebound Margin/G: RM (Rank)
8.7 (3)
0.5 (175)
Steals/G:
S (Rank)
7.2 (67)
4.2 (336)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
14.1 (69)
12.5 (179)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank)
49.1 (5)
43.8 (152)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank)
35.6 (111)
35.4 (122)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank)
39.2 (28)
42.5 (145)
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#5
N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#6
N/A
RPI
7 (.6543)
101 (.5354)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Jordan Matthews (6-3, 205, So.)

Arizona did a strong job on Matthews in the last meeting and it’s a priority to make sure he doesn’t get going from behind the arc. If Matthews’ shot is falling, he is a dangerous player. If the three isn’t going in, Matthews isn’t like to have much of an impact. It will be interesting to see how McConnell plays after being “snubbed” for the Player of the Year award, but even without that, he is the better player.
Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Jabari Bird (6-6, 198, So.)

Bird is playing the best basketball of his career as of late, which is huge for California. He is not the type of player that tends to give Johnson fits though, so Arizona should be fine. On the other side, Bird can’t guard Johnson. Arizona has done a nice job of getting Johnson the ball in both meetings against Cal and we don’t see it being any different on Thursday.
Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 220, So.) vs. Tyrone Wallace (6-5, 220, Jr.)

We think Wallace is one of the best players in the conference, but that tends to change when being guarded by Hollis-Jefferson. Wallace had 16 points in the last meeting, but took 18 shots to do it. Arizona can live with that and if Wallace is going to score, those points are going to be hard earned. We’ve said this in the past, but Cal has no chance of winning unless Wallace plays well.
Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. Dwight Tarwater (6-6, 230, Sr.)

This is a nightmare for Cal and there isn’t anybody on the bench that can make it better. Ashley scored 21 points in the last meeting and will be a focal point once again. Tarwater isn’t a threat to score or get Ashley into foul trouble, so it makes sense that Arizona tries do get him involved early and often.
Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. David Kravish (6-10, 240, Sr.)

Kravish tends to give Arizona some issues because of his ability to step out and hit jumpers. The strategy here will be to go right at him in order to get him into foul trouble, which Arizona has shown it can do. Kravish fouled out in 17 minutes in the last meeting and the Golden Bears are significantly weaker defensively when he is on the bench. As well as Tarczewski is playing, Kravish will have difficulty on Thursday.
Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Gabe York continues to be one of the best bench players in the conference. Mix him in with Dusan Ristic and company and the Golden Bears have a significant disadvantage here. Sam Singer and Christian Behrens will get plenty of run, but those guys aren’t good enough to make a major difference.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Cuonzo Martin

Credit to Martin to having his team prepared on Wednesday, but Arizona is a different animal. Martin has not done a very good job this season, though not many coaches would with that roster. If this game comes down to coaching, that isn’t going to be in Cal’s favor.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
80
61
Prediction: Two games in two days won’t be an issue for Cal considering how the first game went. It’s also pretty difficult to beat the same team three times in a season and twice in two weeks. Still, Arizona is the considerably better team and the talent level is just way too much for Cal to overcome. This is a statement week for Arizona and it’s not going to end with California.

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