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Wednesday NCAA basketball: San Diego State at No. 23 Arizona

November 23, 2011

Great matchup out west on Wednesday night as 2010-11 NCAA Tournament teams San Diego State and Arizona face off, with the Cats as modest college basketball bets favorites on

SDSU (5-1) has already played three pretty good teams in Baylor, Southern Cal and Long Beach State, losing only to Baylor. Last time out, they beat LBSU (which won at Top-10 team Pittsburgh already this season) 77-73 in overtime. Jamal Franklin hit two free throws with 3.9 seconds left in overtime for the clinching points. Franklin scored 14 of his team-high 21 points after halftime for the Aztecs, who improved their home winning streak over unranked opponents to 47. James Rahon had 20 points and Xavier Thames scored eight of his 15 points in overtime for San Diego State.

The Aztecs have good memories of Arizona’s McKale Center, at least last year. They were sent there for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and beat Northern Colorado and Temple to advance to the Sweet 16, the only NCAA Tournament victories in school history. However, SDSU has lost all seven trips to 38-year-old McKale against Arizona, which was 17-0 there last season.

Starters Chase Tapley, Thames and Tim Shelton all sat out of practice Monday, and Franklin ended it with an ice bag on his nose. All four, however, are expected to be ready for Wednesday. Tapley hurt his hand and was scheduled to get precautionary X-rays. Thames was being rested with a bad back. Franklin took a knock in his nose and was having that X-rayed as well. And Shelton, after playing five games in seven days, was getting his customary practice off to save his knees.

The Aztecs received votes in both the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls released Monday. They had 12 votes in the AP, putting them 34th overall. They had eight votes from the coaches, the same as Long Beach State and Illinois, and were tied for 38th.

The No. 23 Wildcats (4-1) look to get back on the winning side of the ledger after suffering its first loss last Friday. The Cats fell 67-57 at Madison Square Garden to Mississippi State. Solomon Hill had 12 points and nine rebounds for Arizona, while Jesse Perry had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Last year, Arizona was 6-1 in games immediately following a defeat.

This will be the 27th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 20-6 advantage in the series, which dates back to Dec. 27, 1945. The Aztecs won the last meeting, 63-46, in San Diego on Dec. 12, 2009. Prior to that game, UA had won seven straight and 12 of 13 in the series. All-time, Arizona is 14-1 in series games played in Tucson, 6-5 in San Diego, and 0-0 in neutral-site games.

SA Take: We are leaning toward taking SD State plus the 6 1/2 points. Both teams are very good and it could go either way.

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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 2011-previews-picks, College Basketball Betting

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