The Arizona Wildcats continue their march toward March madness betting, this time with a 71-54 rout of the Oregon State Beavers on Thursday at Gill Coliseum. Fans planning on betting on March madness will be happy to know that Arizona covered the spread as a favorite. Sophomore guard Allonzo Trier had 18 points and said he was happy to be playing with his teammates after missing the first 19 games of the season. Then again, who wouldn’t be thrilled to be playing alongside Chance Comanche? Additionally, junior center Dusan Ristic contributed 10 points and six rebounds, and freshman forward Lauri Markkanen dominated the boards with nine rebounds.
The Beavers have dug themselves deep into a 0-10 Pac 12 hole. As beavers tend to do. Wait, that’s moles. What do beavers do? In any case, OSU sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr. had 16 points and five steals while sophomore forward Drew Eubanks scored 12 points. Oregon State shot 50% in the first half and even led 29-27 at halftime. However, the Wildcats went on a 23-2 rally in the second half to take a 19-point lead with 8:23 left in regulation. In addition to that, Arizona held OSU to 34.6 percent in the second half and out-rebounded Oregon State 39-26. Gee, don’t you think you were a little hard on the Beavers last night? It didn’t help OSU that leading scorer Tres Tinkle is still out indefinitely. Word is he had to go tinkle and never came back.
The Wildcats have won 15 games in a row, which bodes well for their March madness betting chances. Also of interest for fans betting on March madness, Arizona is 5-0 against the spread in the last five road games. And to prove that the Wildcats are not just about big names – though what name could possibly be bigger than Chance Comanche? – Arizona picked up the W in a night in which arguably its top player was throwing more bricks than Ignatz Mouse. Lauri Markkanen entered the game as the conference’s second-best three-point percentage shooter in Pac 12 play (60%). Against the Beavers, however, Markkanen went 0 of 5 in the first half and 1-6 overall, and shot 1 of 3 (33%) from the three-point line. It could be said that the whole first half was a far cry from what Arizona has fans betting on March madness accustomed to, but the rest of the team came through in the second.
As for OSU, they may not be March madness betting contenders, but they did show promise. Going toe to toe with a top 5 team for an entire half is not a total loss. Being outscored 44-25 in the second, well, yeah, that counts as a total loss, but if the Beavers become able to replicate that first half success during a whole game, then they just might get their first conference win. “There’s brighter days ahead, that’s for sure,” as OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle said. Build dams. That’s what beavers do.