Arizona (6-3) has won three straight since its three-game skid in the Bahamas, while Alabama is coming off a 68-64 win over Rhode Island.
Saturday’s game (8 p.m. MST, ESPN2) is Alabama’s first true road game.
Arizona was listed as 7.5-point favorites as this was published, and KenPom projects the Wildcats will win 78-71 with a 74 percent win probability.
Here are our predictions. Make sure to leave yours in the comment section below.
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 79-71
My general rule is I always pick Arizona to win at home, and getting Rawle Alkins back for this game makes me even more confident about that decision.
Alabama is a good team, but I think the only way Arizona loses is if Collin Sexton goes all Jimmer Fredette and scores 49 points or close to that (which is possible, he almost won a game playing 3-on-5, after all).
Jason Bartel — Arizona wins 84-69
The Wildcats will pick up a nice little home win over Bama with Rawle Alkins’ return injecting a little extra juice into McKale. I’m looking forward to seeing this team live in the flesh next Saturday in Albuquerque as they possibly start to hit their stride.
Alec SIlls-Trausch — Arizona wins 72-58
I learned my lesson from Tuesday. Not picking against Arizona. Even though the Wildcat’s interior defense looks like a breached dam more often than not, the team is slowly improving which is all we can ask for. UA has shot much better at home than any other location this season and that should continue, which makes Alabama’s job even tougher. Sexton will probably ball out but that won't be enough for the two-headed monster of Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier plus whatever Rawle Alkins adds in his restricted minutes.
Robby Leaño — Arizona Wins 88-72
So... I picked against Arizona twice and they win both those games. Maybe they learned their lesson? Maybe they’re back? I don’t know exactly what got them to get their wins over UNLV and Texas A&M, but they got the wins. Arizona now will have a solid game against Alabama and I think this is where they they learn a lot more about what they can do as a team. Plus Rawle Alkins is back (kinda), so now I definitely can’t pick against Arizona. Plus (again), Arizona rarely ever loses a non-conference home game (it hasn’t happened in years)... so yeah, I can’t pick against Arizona.
Tony Capobianco — Arizona wins 98-75
Arizona looks really good now that they’re stateside again, don’t they? Never mix business with vacation. As for Alabama, the Tide’s best win involves playing with three guys and they didn’t actually win that game. Arizona could beat Alabama 3-on-5.