No. 1 Arizona meets No. 5 Houston in the Sweet 16 round of the 2022 men’s basketball tournament Thursday.
The game is at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Tip off is scheduled for approximately 9:45 pm ET, and the game will be televised on TBS.
Arizona (33-3) is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017 and is looking to return to the Final Four for the first time since 2001. First-year coach Tommy Lloyd has a high-scoring offense that averages 84.6 points per game, and Bennedict Mathurin took over in the second-round overtime victory against TCU.
MORE: Late no-call mars ending of Arizona-TCU
Houston (31-5) is making a third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, and the Cougars are looking to make a return trip to the Final Four. The Cougars have overcome the loss of leading scorer Marcus Sasser earlier this season, and three transfers have emerged as impact starters.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Arizona vs. Houston in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the second-round game.
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Arizona vs. Houston odds
This line has dropped a full point, which means bettors have faith in the Cougars to perhaps make another Final Four run. The over / under hasn’t moved much, according to odds at Sports Interaction.
- Spread: Arizona -1.5
- Over / under: 145
- Moneyline: Arizona -140, Houston +116
Three betting trends to watch
– Houston is 24-12 ATS this season, the second-best record among any team left in the tournament. The only school that is better? Cinderella story St. Peter’s is 22-9 ATS.
– The Cougars are close to home in San Antonio, and this is the second game where they are an underdog. Houston is 8-1 ATS in neutral-site games this season.
– Arizona is 5-2 S / U and 4-3 ATS against ranked opponents this season. The over has hit in eight of the Wildcats’ last 10 games.
Arizona key players
Four of Arizona’s five starters are international players. Mathurin is one of the best players in the country. He averages 17.8 points and 5.7 rebounds this season. Christian Koloko is a 7-1 center from Cameroon who averages 12.7 points and 7.4 boards. Mathurin and Koloko had 58 of Arizona’s 85 points against TCU. Sophomores Azuolas Tubelis (14.2 ppg.), Kerr Kriisa (9.9 ppg.) And Dalen Terry (7.8 ppg.) Fill out the starting five.
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Houston key players
Houston is the transfer destination. Guard Kyler Edwards, a Texas Tech transfer, leads the Cougars with 14.9 ppg. He is an excellent rebounder, too. Josh Carlton, at UConn transfer, averages 11.8 ppg. and 6.3 rebounds. Taze Moore, a Cal-State Baskersfield transfer, was the hero against Illinois with 21 points and seven rebounds. Fabian White (13.0 ppg.) And Jamal Shead (9.8 ppg., 5.9 assists) round out an experienced starting five. They were role players on last year’s Final Four team.
Best individual matchup: Christian Koloko vs. Josh Carlton
We love a classic matchup in the paint, and we get one with these two centers. Carlton (6-11, 240), a former three-star center at DeMatha Catholic High School, started in 82 games at UConn before transferring to Houston. He averages 6.3 rebounds and is a shot-blocking presence. Koloko has enjoyed a breakout season and has three games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in March.
Arizona vs. Houston stat to know
Mathurin can be explosive, but he is 7 of 21 from 3-point range against Wright State and TCU. He had double-digit three-point attempts in both games, which did not happen in the regular season or the Pac-12 tournament. Mathurin also is 28 of 33 (84.8%) from the free-throw line since the Pac-12 tournament. Arizona needs Mathurin to get to the basket against a tough Cougars’ defense.
Get to know … Kyler Edwards, G, Houston
Edwards scored 12 points off the bench for Texas Tech in the national championship game against Virginia in 2019. In 10 career NCAA tournament games, Edwards is 23 of 43 (53.5%) from 3-point range, a fantastic shooting percentage. He also averages seven rebounds between the AAC and NCAA tournaments this season. He’s a do-it-all star for the Cougars.
Arizona vs. Houston prediction
If Houston can keep Arizona under 75 points, then this could get very interesting. It’s a contrast of style, and the Cougars will try to slow it down. The Wildcats are 3-3 when they fail to hit 75 points, and Houston has not lost a game when it hits between 70-80 points this season. Look for the Wildcats to push the tempo in the first half, and the Wildcats will force enough fouls to get into Houston’s bench, which is not deep. Mathurin seals the victory at the line late, and Arizona advances to the Elite Eight.
Final score: Arizona 76, Houston 72