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Utah vs. Arizona score predictions

Which team will go 2-0 in the first week of Pac-12 play?

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats (10-4) will take on the Utah Utes (7-6) on Saturday at 12 p.m. MST in Tucson to complete the first weekend of Pac-12 play.

Both teams won their openers, so a 2-0 start is at stake Saturday. Which team will pull it off? We made some predictions. Be sure to leave yours in the comment section below.

Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 71-67

Utah pulled off the biggest shocker of the Pac-12’s opening night, dropping 96 at Arizona State after looking quite pathetic during a nonconference slate that saw the Utes lose five times by double digits. That might be more a referendum on how good ASU really is than about Utah, but it is cause for concern for Arizona, particularly how the Utes went 16 for 30 from three-point range. Only two teams have shot 40 percent from deep against the Wildcats and none has made more than 10 triples, so their ability to defend the perimeter may be the deciding factor. Arizona will have to be much more efficient offensively than it was against Colorado, too, since Utah has outrebounded most of its opponents and the Wildcats can’t afford to take bad shots.

Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 65-62

Thursday’s game showed that Arizona’s worst enemy is itself, going from the basketball penthouse in the game’s first half to whatever hellhole residence captured them in the game’s latter half. It’ll be interesting to see if Devonaire Doutrive can keep up his energy, after scoring 8 points off the bench against the Buffs, as his contributions could allow Arizona to blow out the Utes. I’m not sold on this team boat-racing anyone, given how erratic they’ve played this year, plus Utah might have found some mojo by desecrating Bobby Hurley’s soul in Tempe. Therefore, I’ll go with Arizona edging out Utah at home in an early tip, with Brandon Randolph carrying the team across the finish line on Saturday afternoon.

Ronnie Stoffle — Arizona wins 66-64

I like Sean Miller at home with a solid defensive team. The Utes have a stud point guard in Sedrick Barefield which will be a great test for Brandon Williams if Justin Coleman’s injury keeps him out for the second straight game.

Donnie Tillman is coming off a season-high 22 points at ASU. Most of this was driven by his 3-point shooting, 6 of 8 attempts. As a team, they made 16 of their 30 attempts and Barefield and Tillman were responsible for 11.

I think Arizona continues its strong perimeter defense and mitigates this risk from downtown. If they’re able to do so, they will take care of business in a nail-biter. Also, watch for Jeter to have a bounce back game.

Zant Reyez — Utah wins 73-67

Yup, I’m calling for Utah to win.

I think Utah stays hot after upsetting ASU the other night. It’ll be another close game for UA, but I see Utah getting the win in the final minutes of the game.

Ezra Amacher — Arizona wins 68-62

Utah will be coming into this game with plenty of momentum after out-scoring ASU 57-43 in the second half. How the Sun Devils allowed 57 points in a half to a Utes team that was held to the 50s over 40 minutes in losses to Northwestern and BYU is a question Sean Miller has likely spent much of the past 24 hours mulling over.

Fortunately for Arizona, it would take a repeat performance by Utah and some help from the Wildcats side for the Utes to pull off a stunning desert sweep. Here’s to thinking Justin Coleman won’t drop two eggs in a row.

Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 74-65

While the Utes are capable of shooting the lights out, they are bad defensively and struggle to limit and force turnovers, so I don’t see them having the formula to escape with a rare road win in McKale.

And the Utes have only won back-to-back games once this season, so I’m not buying the whole ‘they will be riding high after beating ASU” notion.