Arizona vs Colorado Pac-12 Tournament Picks and Predictions: Buffs Won't Go Quietly

The Wildcats have trounced the Pac-12 all season, but the Buffaloes have shown they can hold them down, especially with one of their best snipers sidelined. Find out why the underdogs can keep this close with our Arizona vs. Colorado picks.

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2022 9:29 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jabari Walker Colorado Buffaloes Pac-12 Tournament
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 seed Arizona had quite the scare in the first round, winning an 84-80 nail-biter over No. 9 Stanford. The Wildcats were dominant in Pac-12 play during the regular season, with only two losses on their record in conference play.

One of those losses came in blowout fashion late in the year to Colorado. The No. 4 seed Buffaloes took care of business with an 80-69 win over Oregon in the second round and now sets its sights on toppling the top squad in the conference. 

Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for the Arizona Wildcats and Colorado Buffaloes on Friday, March 11.

Arizona vs Colorado odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Arizona opened -10 but the line was quickly bet down to -9.5, where it resides as of Friday morning. The total opened 148 and has moved a half-point to 148.5 at current. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Arizona vs Colorado predictions

Predictions made on 3/11/2022 at 7:20 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Arizona vs Colorado game info

Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Friday, March 11, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: Pac-12 Network

Arizona vs Colorado betting preview


Arizona: Kerr Kriisa G (Questionable).
Colorado: Eli Parquet G (Out), Lawson Lovering C (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Wildcats are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 neutral-site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Arizona vs. Colorado.

Arizona vs Colorado picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Arizona has been a destroyer of worlds in the Pac-12 this season, losing only twice in conference play. One of those losses came to the No. 2 seed UCLA, and the other came against its semifinal opponent. Colorado toppled the Wildcats 79-63 on Feb. 26 thanks primarily to dominating the paint. Arizona was outscored 54-26 down low in that matchup.

The other meeting between these teams occurred on Jan. 13 when the Wildcats grabbed an easy 76-55 win in Tucson. Tommy Lloyd’s squad shot over 50% in that matchup while limiting the Buffs to 33% from the field, but it was still only a four-point game at the half.

Arizona possesses a ton of size and physicality, which generally overwhelms opponents. Bennedict Mathurin stands 6’7” and leads the team with 17.3 points per game, Azuolas Tubelis is 6’11” and is arguably the team’s most important piece, 7’1” Christian Koloko popped off for 24 points and 9 rebounds in the first round.

We don’t believe Colorado will be so easily intimidated. One strength of this team is its starting frontcourt of Jabari Walker and Evan Battey. Both stand 6’8”, and therefore will be at a slight size disadvantage, but play very tough in the paint and won’t back down from a battle. Walker leads the team in scoring at rebounding at 14.8 points per game, adding 9.6 boards. Battey is second on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game.

Battey and Walker can both shoot the three, each averaging over one made three per contest. This is crucial in spacing out this gargantuan Arizona team defensively. It’s a recipe that found great success in the last meeting and is a big reason why the Buffaloes were +28 in the paint.

Arizona starting guard Kerr Kriisa went down late against Stanford after landing on Koloko’s foot. He’s listed as questionable with a right ankle injury, but we’re dubious about his chances to suit up considering he was in a wheelchair after the game. Kriisa is the team’s leading 3-point shooter, and the team will miss his 2.5 triples per game. Mathurin is the only other Wildcat to average over one made 3-point attempt per game, so this is a significant loss if Kriisa can’t play as anticipated.

Prediction: Colorado +9.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The Pac-12 Tournament has been a dream come true for Over bettors. In the first two rounds of the tournament, the Over went 6-2. Both Colorado and Arizona went Over the total yesterday, respectively, in their first taste of tournament action in 2022.

Arizona plays at the seventh-fastest pace in the country, according to KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric. Colorado ranks 172nd and is comfortable playing either fast or slow, but will likely look to slow things down in this matchup with Arizona’s unabashed offense. 

The Wildcats average 84.7 points per game, the third-highest output in the country. The Buffaloes appear to have the defensive chops to keep them from running wild, keeping the Cats below 80 points in both meetings during the regular season. With Kriisa likely out, we don’t see why it couldn’t happen again for the third time.

Overs have been on a roll to start the Pac-12 Tournament, but we anticipate that trend starts to reverse as we get deeper in the bracket. It’s natural for games to get tighter in the later rounds of tournaments, and we have a game featuring two solid defensive teams. We think this total is a tad high.

Prediction: Under 148.5 (-110)

Best bet

Colorado possesses the quality to make this within single digits. They’ve already beaten Arizona once and won’t back down from a challenge.

The Buffaloes may have the advantage from 3-point range with Kriisa likely out, and they proved they can fight down low after going +28 in the paint the last meeting.

This line seems inflated. Give us the underdog.

Pick: Colorado +9.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

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Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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