Stanford vs. Arizona: Preview, Trends

A look at Saturday's Pac-12 matchup between the Stanford Cardinal and Arizona Wildcats

Steve Jurvetson, Flickr

Arizona (17-7) at Stanford (16-8)

Saturday 2/15/20, 10:30pm EST

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Setting The Scene 

Despite a promising start to the season, the Stanford Cardinal are in free-fall. Stanford began the year by winning 15 of their first 17 games. It wasn't the toughest non-conference schedule, but they had the look of a team who could consistently win games. They beat a solid Oklahoma team 73-54 on a neutral floor in November. Stanford followed that game up with a 68-67 loss to Butler. The only other loss they suffered in their non-conference schedule was a 72-56 defeat at the hands of Kansas, who is currently #3 in the AP Top 25 poll. The Cardinal rattled off 4 consecutive wins (California, Washington, Washington State, and at UCLA) to begin the Pac-12 season. Since then, very little has gone right for the Cardinal. Stanford has gone 1-6 in their last 7 games. They've lost to USC, Cal, Oregon State, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona State, with a win over Oregon sandwiched in the middle. When we were midway through January, it looked like Stanford would easily make the NCAA tournament. The pile-up of recent losses has placed them firmly on the bubble, as we sit here in mid-February. A win against Arizona could get their season turned around. A loss could send the Cardinal spiraling out of control.

The Arizona Wildcats would like to recapture some of their early season magic. Arizona came into the season ranked #21 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. They started off the season 9-0 and got a quality non-conference win against the Illinois Fighting Illini 90-69. Their first two losses were against Baylor and Gonzaga by 5 and 4 points, respectively. Considering these two teams are currently the top 2 teams in the AP Poll, these losses are anything to be ashamed of. Over this time span, the Wildcats got as high as 12th in the polls. Since the Gonzaga game, the Wildcats haven't played up to their potential. They have recorded losses to St. John's, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, and UCLA. Despite having added quality wins against Colorado and USC, Arizona has fallen out of the Top 25 polls. To their credit, it's possible that Arizona has already turned the ship around. Since a 2-5 start in the middle of the season, the Wildcats have lost just 2 games in the last month. They rank 4th in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing 65.9 points per game. Arizona ranks 1st in the Pac-12 in scoring offense, averaging 78.8 points per game. The Wildcats have enough talent to end the season on a run, they just need to put everything together on the floor.

Trends To Know 

  • Arizona is 2-5 straight-up on the road against teams that outscore their opponents by an average of four-plus points per game. 

  • Arizona is 1-4 straight-up on the road against teams with good defenses (who allow shooting percentages of 42% or better). 

  • Arizona has won (and covered) three-straight road games. 

  • Seven of the last 10 Stanford home games have stayed UNDER the total.

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