Still, KenPom gives the Wildcats an 88 percent chance of winning Saturday with a projected score of 81-68.
Here are some things to watch for and below are our score predictions. Be sure to leave yours in the comment section below.
Ronnie Stoffle — Arizona wins 77-69
Well, Thursday night wasn’t pretty. Fans haven’t seen a four-game stretch like this in years, if not decades. It is definitely the first four-game losing streak of Sean Miller’s tenure with Arizona. It’s hard to imagine this skid extending to five games as Washington State is just simply not a very good team.
The Cougars’ 3-point shooting was the reason they whooped ASU. It’ll be tough to keep that hot hand in Tucson. Not having Brandon Williams has proven to be a strain on defense and a lack of rim-attacking drives for the Wildcats. However, I trust UA will take care of business and collect their 15th win of the year.
Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 73-69
Wazzu is a fine three-point-shooting specimen, with Robert Franks serving as the coup de gras for Ernie Kent’s squad. Franks absolutely torched ASU, scoring 34 points on 11-of-16 shooting, which is something to keep an eye on, given Arizona’s inconsistent defense.
The old saying goes that if you live by the three, sooner or later you’ll die by it, so I’ll say that the Cougs will pull the latter in Tucson on Saturday evening, though given Arizona’s horrid play of-late, anything’s possible. If Chase Jeter can stay out of foul trouble then Arizona has the definite upper-hand, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll do so, given the foul-happy officiating that seems to plague this conference. I think that Brandon Randolph will rebound nicely after an abysmal six-point, 2-of-13 shooting performance against Washington on Thursday night, which should be enough to get the Wildcats back into the win column.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 83-72
Finally, a game that Arizona not only can win but should, and fairly convincingly. Don’t let Washington State’s shocking 91-70 upset at Arizona State on Thursday distract you from the fact this is a really bad team, one that is dead last in the Pac-12 in defense and second-worst on the offensive end. The only thing the Cougars do well is shoot free throws, but they don’t get to the line nearly enough for that to matter. Even with Arizona shorthanded, distracted and lacking confidence, anything other than a comfortable double-digit victory will be a major surprise.
Ezra Amacher — Arizona wins 80-71
Washington State pulled off the biggest stunner of the conference season Thursday when the Cougars thoroughly dismantled ASU in Tempe. However, lightning rarely strikes twice, especially in the Sonoran Desert. I think the Wildcats will want to put their ugly past few weeks — on and off the court — behind them come Saturday and it’ll result in a convincing enough win over the Cougs.
Zant Reyez — Arizona wins 77-69
I just can’t see Arizona getting swept again. I know things are bad on and off the court, but a loss against the Cougs would break whatever spirit is left in the team.
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 77-65
You can either make the argument that the Cougars have the hot hand entering this game or that their win at ASU was a fluke and they are bound to crash down to earth.
Based on how their season has unfolded, I am banking on the latter Realistically, this is a game Arizona should win by double figures.
Consider: seven of the Cougars’ eight conference losses have been by double figures. The only one that wasn’t — at home vs. USC — was a nine-point loss.
It really is incredible that WSU beat ASU by 21. Can’t say I’m disappointed, though.