Wyoming Basketball vs. Arizona: Game Preview, How to Watch, Livestream, Prediction
The Cowboys head to Tucson looking to upset the 11th ranked Wildcats
Wyoming looks for a team defining upset.
WHO: Wyoming Cowboys (8-0) vs. #11 Arizona Wildcats (7-0)
WHEN: Wednesday, December 8th, 8:00 PM MST/7:00 PM PST
WHERE: McKale Memorial Center, Tucson, AZ
TV: Pac-12 Network (Pac-12 Network can be accessed through most major TV Providers as well as FuboTV with a free trial)
RADIO: The Wyoming broadcast can be found throughout the state on the affiliates of the Cowboy Sports Network, including flagship 1240 AM (KFBC) in Cheyenne.
SERIES RECORD: The Cowboys and the Wildcats have met 35 times all time with Arizona leading series 20-15. The last meeting between these teams came in 2004 when Arizona won 98-70.
The Wyoming Cowboys take their undefeated record on the road on Wednesday to face the 11th ranked Arizona Wildcats. This game will be a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the country. In the NCAA’s initial NET Rankings Arizona is ranked 3rd nationally, and Wyoming is ranked 9th.
📍 Tucson 🤠🏀 pic.twitter.com/KnfXaoBoER
— Wyoming Cowboy Basketball (@wyo_mbb) December 8, 2021
Arizona is led by three players averaging almost identical stats: Guard Bennedict Mathurin (16 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists), Center Christian Koloko (15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 3.4 blocks), and Forward Azuolas Tubelis (15.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists). The Wildcats are led by first year coach Tommy Lloyd and are winning games by suffocating their opponents on defense and playing extremely fast on offense.
Wyoming, on the other hand, is led by sophomore Forward Graham Ike, and senior Guard Hunter Maldonado. Ike has broken out this year and has become the Cowboys biggest scoring threat. He is averaging 20.8 points and 9 rebounds per game. Maldonado has transitioned into the primary ball handler and play maker for the Cowboys, and averages 18.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. The Cowboys are coached by second year Head Coach Jeff Linder.
Here are three keys to a Wyoming victory:
Keys to a Wyoming victory
1. Slowdown the Wildcats’ transition offense
Arizona has one of the best transition offenses in college basketball. The Wildcats on average, take 40 percent of their field goal attempts in transition and make 60 percent of those field goals. This means that the Wildcats are averaging between 30 and 40 points just in transition. The Cowboys need to find ways to slow the Wildcats down. One of the biggest ways the Cowboys can do this is by continuing to take and make high percentage shots. Wyoming is currently number 12 in the country in field goal percentage, making just a hair over 50 percent of their shots. If Wyoming can keep making their shots at such a high percentage, it will limit the ability of Arizona to get out in transition.
2. Attack the Glass
If the Cowboys want to return to Laramie undefeated this weekend, they will need to win the battle of the boards. So far this year, Arizona is dominating the boards and hasn’t been out-rebounded in a single game. Wyoming has out-rebounded every opponent except for Grand Canyon this year, however one thing that has me concerned is that in several games the Cowboys have given up double digit offensive rebounds to their opponents.
RT if your team is one of the 12 remaining undefeated teams nearly one month into the season! 🙌🔥 pic.twitter.com/FLJ618jk1B
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) December 7, 2021
Against a team like Arizona, the Cowboys need to limit the second chances and offensive rebounds that they give up. How the Cowboys are doing on the boards will be a big indicator of how the game will go for the Cowboys.
3. Feed Graham Ike
It is no secret that Graham Ike is the top scoring threat for the Cowboys. Ike is averaging almost a double double per game and has been almost unstoppable on the block. Even with a slightly undersized frame, Ike has been able to be just as dominant against bigger forwards and centers. Ike is going to have his work cut out for him against 7’1” Center Christian Koloko for the Wildcats. Koloko is averaging 3.5 blocks per game and has the definite size advantage on Ike. Whoever wins this battle will go a long way in determining the result of this game.
Wyoming is looking to pull off their biggest upset since 2004 when the Cowboys upset the 5th ranked San Diego State Aztecs. Wyoming is going to have their hands full with Arizona, but I am picking the Cowboys defense to shut down the Wildcats and get the win.
Wyoming 77, Arizona 73