SALT LAKE CITY — Belmont excels at shooting the 3-pointer. Arizona has struggled to defend the 3-pointer. Ergo … upset!
Arizona has had extended defensive lapses in games, or even over a series of games, much to coach Sean Miller’s dismay. But the Wildcats, mostly, have the raw material — size, athleticism — to be an above average defensive team, and I have to think those attributes, combined with the effort and focus of March, will be enough to carry the day against Belmont.
The Bruins shoot 38.6 percent from 3-point range and make 8.5 per game, among the best marks in the country. But it’s not as if they can’t be shut down; Belmont has shot below 30 percent from behind the arc in four of the past seven games.
With Nick Johnson checking guard Ian Clark (a national-best 46.9 percent 3-point shooting), I think Arizona will handle the 3-point barrage and use its height superiority to win the rebounding battle by double digits.
As for the score …
Arizona 75, Belmont 65.