The Arizona Wildcats (8-3) are fresh off a nice road win over New Mexico and have now won five straight. They’ll go for six on Monday night back at McKale Center against North Dakota State (5-5) at 7 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.
Here are three keys to the Wildcats getting another victory:
The one thing North Dakota State has going for them is that they’re one of the best teams in the country at limiting 3-pointers, holding opponents to a 32.9 shooting percentage. They run teams off the line with hard closeouts and good help defense.
Luckily, Arizona doesn’t rely on 3-pointers. Instead they focus on going to the basket. The athletic advantage that the Wildcats have will come in very handy in moments when the Bison close out hard. Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins can beat anyone from North Dakota State off the dribble. Attacking the basket should result in plenty of easy buckets for the Wildcats.
Considering the win streak and playing at home and being at full strength and a myriad of reasons, it would be understandable for Arizona to play with a certain amount of swagger on Monday night.
But it will be very important for the Wildcats to take a similar approach against North Dakota State as they have in the last several weeks. Don’t settle for long 3s, don’t make lazy passes. The Wildcats are favored by 21.5 points on Monday night. As long as they don’t settle for bad shots, they should get a win.
Arizona needs to find some reliable contributors outside its starting five, and this is a chance for the bench to get some additional playing time and make an impact.
This isn’t just a key to winning on Monday night, but it could be a key to winning future games.