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Sweet Sixteen Basketball Betting — Arizona May Find the Fight of Their Lives vs. Houston

March Madness Sweet Sixteen 2022

Some Quality Sweet Sixteen Games Tip-Off Tonight

By Charles Jay

Talk about an up in the air Sweet Sixteen, as it definitely has been March Madness. I wouldn’t expect that to end tonight. Both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT Tournament has been a crap shoot this season. Seems we say it every year with all the players leaving early that a dozen teams could win it. This year is making that mantra come even more true.

The Houston Cougars got to the Final Four last season. And while they might not be quite as formidable this season, Kelvin Sampson’s team is about defense, and that means they can always be in the hunt.

The Arizona Wildcats have been one of the nation’s best all season long. But they may not be at 100% strength in advance of this Sweet Sixteen encounter that takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, which BetAnySports customers can watch starting at 9:59 PM ET on TBS.

There are some tremendous similarities between these two teams. Both of them are ferocious when they are hitting the offensive boards (Houston is 3rd, Arizona 15th). They both defend the deuce with aplomb – Arizona, in fact, is second best in the country at it. They are both in the top ten in Effective Field Goal Percentage defense. And they both have exhibited great ball movement.

Tommy Lloyd has done a great job picking up the program after it was dragged through the play-for-pay scandal. And it would be unusual if Arizona did NOT have some premium NBA prospects on the roster. In this particular instance, there are big men up front who have helped propel this team’s effort.

Christian Koloko is a 7-1 shot-blocker who has helped enable the Wildcats to be the fifth-best two-point shooting team in the land. And then there is Azoulas Tubelis, who provides another “twin tower” at 6-11.

Arizona has gotten more “ink” this season, but this one could go right down to the wire.

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In the Sweet Sixteen basketball betting odds as they are posted by our friends at BetAnySports, the ‘Cats are slight favorites:

Arizona Wildcats -1.5
Houston Cougars +1.5

Over 145.5 Points -110
Under 145.5 Points -110

Houston seemed to have a particular problem with Memphis, having lost two double-digit decisions to them, but the other three losses they suffered – to Wisconsin, Alabama and SMU – came by a total of five points. They had 15 offensive rebounds against Illinois in a 68-53 win in the Round of 32.

A primary concern for Arizona is keeping UConn transfer Josh Carlton off the boards. He is the fifth-ranked individual offensive rebounder in the country this season.

One must make note of decided edges for Arizona in terms of size and free throw shooting ability. But Lloyd decided that against TCU in the previous round, Azoulas Tubelis would see only 16 minutes of playing time, with only two field goals. It was TCU’s quickness that prompted that decision. And Houston dishes out a lot of the same. They are aggressive on the defensive end, and force turnovers.

If the Wildcats’ point guard, Kerr Kriisa , was 100% that would be one thing.But Kriisa is hampered by a sprained ankle, and had only ten shots against TCU – all triples – and made only one of them. Arizona’s ball movement was not what it has been most of the way.

This is something of a battle of pace. Arizona likes to put the ball up in a hurry, while Houston seeks to upset those plans. It won’t be an upset if they came away with this victory.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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