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Arizona men’s basketball not favored at UCLA, first time in Pac-12 game in 2 years

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-ucla-bruins-underdog-odds-draftkings-2023-pac12 Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona heads into Saturday’s regular season finale in a fairly unfamiliar position: as the underdog.

The eighth-ranked Wildcats are 5.5-point underdogs for the game at No. 4 UCLA, per DraftKings Sportsbook. It marks the first time since December 2021 (at Tennessee) that they weren’t favored, and the first time since the 2020-21 finale at Oregon that they’ve been the underdog in a Pac-12 game.

It’s not the least bit surprising that Arizona (25-5, 14-5) is the dog at Pauley Pavilion, where it hasn’t won since 2017. UCLA (26-4, 17-2) has won nine in a row, wrapping up the regular-season title on Sunday, and its 24-game homecourt win streak is the longest active streak in college basketball. projects UCLA winning 79-72, giving Arizona a 26 percent chance to win.

If the spread remains as it is, it will be the largest for the UA as an underdog since being 6-point dogs at USC in Feb. 2021, a game it won 81-72.

Since 2016, Arizona is 11-19 in games it is not favored, covering 13 times and pushing once. Since 2009 the biggest underdog the Wildcats have been in a game they’ve won was in 2010 when they won at ASU as an 11-point dog.