Arizona Wildcats vs. Mississippi St. Bulldogs
The Arizona Wildcats and Mississippi State Bulldogs look to build off of their big wins on Thursday as they meet in Madison Square Garden on Friday. The Wildcats are -6 point favorites over the Bulldogs with an over/under point total set at 142.
The Arizona Wildcats are ranked 16th in the nation but not too many people have bought into them being a real contender this season. Arizona is trying to silence the doubters the old fashioned way, winning games. On Thursday the Cats knocked off St. John’s as Solomon Hill scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds but it was a team effort as five players scored double digits. Jesse Perry had 11 points and 10 rebounds, Kyle Fogg had 13 points and six assists, and Jordin Mayes added 12 points as Arizona remained undefeated. The Wildcats shot 41.7 percent from the floor hitting 14 of 29 from beyond the three point arc and they out-rebounded SJU 33-29. The real difference for Arizona was at the line where they converted 81 percent of their free throws. They face a different set of challenges in this one and are favored to get it done.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs were underdogs when they took the floor of Madison Square Garden to take on the nationally ranked Texas A&M Aggies but someone forgot to tell them they weren’t supposed to win. MSU dominated the action from start to finish showing off all aspects of their game and all of the talents of their experienced leaders. Dee Bost led the Bulldogs with 20 points while snatching four steals and going two for three from three point land. Brian Bryant had 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Rodney Hood had 10 points, and Arnett Moultrie had eight points and eight rebounds. Renardo Sidney had just three points and five rebounds while picking up three fouls in 22 minutes and he will be needed to do more against the talented Arizona team. Mississippi State out-rebounded Texas A&M by six but they shot just 61.3 percent from the free throw line, a number they are going to need to do better than if they expect to win in this tough spot.
Arizona is 4-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 2-6 against the spread in their last eight against SEC teams, and 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games as a favorite. Mississippi is 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games as an underdog, 8-3-1 against the spread in their last 12 neutral site games, and 2-15 against the spread in their last 17 non-conference games.
This one should be a physical one and it could come down to free throw shooting where Arizona has the big advantage. Mississippi should win the battle of the boards here and that and their defense should at the very least keep this one closer than the number.
Mississippi St. Bulldogs +6 Arizona Wildcats