FLORIDA GATORS (7-0)
at ARIZONA WILDCATS (7-0)
Tip-off: Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida -1.5, Total: 135
A couple of unbeaten top-10 teams meet up when No. 8 Arizona hosts No. 5 Florida on Saturday night.
Not only are both teams unbeaten SU, but they’ve each failed to cover just once this season; Arizona is 5-1 ATS and Florida is 4-1 ATS. The Gators just demolished in-state rival Florida State last Wednesday, their first road game of the year. They allow just 48.3 PPG (2nd-best in nation), by limiting five of their seven opponents to less than 50 points. Arizona won by double-digits at Clemson on Saturday, its toughest game to this point.
Which of these juggernauts will stay unbeaten? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have a collective 51.1% ATS mark (117-112-6) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 12-7 ATS (63%) since Nov. 26 and 60% ATS (25-17) for the season. StatFox Dave is at 52% ATS (43-39-2) on the year, helped out by a 5-0 ATS mark over the past six days.
Arizona has effectively mixed old and new so far this year. Senior PF Solomon Hill (12.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG) and sophomore PG Nick Johnson (13.6 PPG, 55% FG) have led the way for the most part. Xavier transfer Mark Lyons (13.4 PPG, 39% 3-pt FG) has stepped in as an effective deep threat; the Wildcats are shooting 41% from three as a team. And PF Brandon Ashley (9.3 PPG on 59% FG, 6.4 RPG) has been one of the nation’s best freshmen. He and fellow freshman Kaleb Tarczewski (6.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG), a raw 7-footer, are a big reason why the Wildcats are +11.5 in rebounding margin so far.
Florida has been much more balanced between frontcourt and backcourt than in years past. Scoring PG Kenny Boynton (14.4 PPG) still leads the way, but C Patric Young (10.3 PPG on 55% FG, 7.9 RPG) and stretch PF Erik Murphy (11.9 PPG, 43% 3-pt FG) have stepped up this season. Like Arizona, the Gators have dominated on the boards, with a +10.7 rebounding margin. The return of PG Scottie Wilbekin (7.6 PPG, 4.4 APG) from an early-season suspension has also been a boost. Not only is he a more effective facilitator of this offense, but his presence allows Florida to rotate out streaky SG Mike Rosario (11.4 PPG).