The 2023 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is underway, and the Arizona Wildcats face the Princeton Tigers in a First Round matchup in Thursday’s March Madness action. Arizona, champions of the Pac-12, earned the No. 2 seed in the South Region, and Princeton punched its ticket to the Big Dance by winning the Ivy League.
Here, we make a Princeton vs. Arizona prediction and look at odds and betting trends ahead of Thursday’s clash.
The Wildcats have lofty goals this year, and are near the top of the March Madness odds board to win it all. Will Arizona manage to fend off a feisty Princeton squad? We take a stab at the best bets to make in our Arizona vs. Princeton predictions.
Princeton vs. Arizona March Madness Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Total
The Wildcats are a double-digit favorite over the Tigers in the First Round of tournament play. The spread opened at Arizona -13.5 and has climbed in the Wildcat’s direction. If you’re leaning toward taking the Tigers plus the points, it may be beneficial to wait and see if the line goes any higher before placing your bets.
NCAAB · Thu (3/16) @ 4:15pm ET
|McKale Memorial Center, Tucson, Arizona|
As a heavy favorite, the Arizona moneyline is in the four-digit range (-1000) and is only worth betting as a leg in a moneyline parlay. The Princeton moneyline, on the other hand, would pay around five-to-one if the Tigers manage to pull off the upset.
The Princeton vs. Arizona total is set in the mid-150s, one of the highest totals of the Round of 64 games. Both teams have boasted strong offenses in their conferences this year but have at times struggled on the defensive side of the ball.
March Madness: Princeton vs. Arizona Betting News
As a No. 1 seed last season, the Wildcats reached the Sweet 16 before being upset by fifth-seeded Houston. In our Princeton vs. Arizona betting preview, we look at whether the Tigers have what it takes to upset the heavily-favored Wildcats.
Betting Preview: Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats came on strong in their conference tournament despite dropping two of their last three regular season games. Arizona defeated UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship to secure a 2 seed in this year’s tournament. The Wildcats went 6-1 against ranked teams this year but had a tendency to play down to their opponent’s level — four of their six losses were at the hands of teams who missed the tournament.
Arizona finished their regular season in the top 10 of several offensive categories but their defensive output is relatively lackluster when compared to the top teams in this year’s field.
Players to Watch
- F Azuolas Tubelis – 19.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 57.5 FG%
- C Oumar Ballo – 14.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 64.9 FG%
- G Courtney Ramey – 10.6 PPG, 1.1 SPG, 40.9 3PT%
- G Kerr Kriisa – 10.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 37.3 3PT%
Betting Preview: Princeton Tigers
Princeton earned an automatic bid after winning the Ivy League Tournament Championship. The Tigers defeated the conference’s regular-season winner, Yale, 74-65 despite losing to them twice in the regular season. Princeton was among the Ivy League’s most-balanced teams and played more physically than their size would suggest.
The Tigers went just 1-3 against tournament teams this year. In addition to their 1-2 record against Yale, Princeton lost to Iona 70-64 at a neutral venue.
Players to Watch
- F Tosan Evbuomwan – 15.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 4.8 APG, 52.7 FG%
- G Ryan Langborg – 12.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 81.8 FT%
- G Matt Allocco – 11.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 40.7 3PT%
- C Caden Pierce – 8.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 43.4 FG%
Princeton vs. Arizona Betting Trends
The Wildcats have been a force in college hoops for years and have qualified for the tournament in seven of the last 10 years. Their lone championship title came in 1997. The Wildcats’ resume is more impressive than their Ivy League opponent, whose last Sweet 16 appearance came in 1967.
Consider these regular season trends before placing any Arizona vs. Princeton bets this week.
- Arizona 14-16-1 ATS
- Princeton 15-12 ATS
- Arizona 16-15-2 ATS as a favorite
- Princeton 4-1 ATS as an underdog
- Arizona 4-2-1 ATS at neutral sites
- Princeton 1-2 ATS at neutral sites
- Arizona 5-5-1 ATS in non-conference games
- Princeton 5-6 ATS in non-conference games
Arizona vs. Princeton Prediction: Tigers Plus the Points
Is an upset on the horizon? Likely not — but our Arizona vs. Princeton betting prediction likes the Tigers to keep it close. The Wildcats have played down to their opponents on several occasions this season, and the Tigers should be able to take advantage of a suspect Arizona defense.
The Tigers picked up a lot of boards in the Ivy League and will need to keep the pressure on Arizona in the paint. Despite being outmatched at most positions, Princeton has played a physical style of ball that should keep the deficit within single digits down in Sacramento.
Arizona vs. Princeton Round One: How to Watch
Princeton travels across the county to take on the Arizona Wildcats at the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. They’re the second leg of Thursday’s doubleheader following no. 7-seed Missouri vs. no. 10-seed Utah State.
- Date: Thursday, March 16
- Time: 4:10 p.m. EST
- Broadcast: TNT