The Utah Tech Trailblazers take on the Arizona Wildcats. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Utah Tech Arizona prediction and pick.

The Arizona Wildcats know they have some big shoes to fill on their new roster. They lost Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko from the team which gained a No. 1 seed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament and won the Pac-12 championship. Mathurin was the fast, up-tempo guard and ballhandler who could relentlessly attack the paint and apply pressure to opposing defenses, forcing defenders to make instant decisions on when and how to guard various areas of the court. Mathurin was lethal in the open floor and helped Arizona develop a lethal transition game. He could also attack the glass and finish at the rim, giving the Wildcats a lot of different ways to score and change the nature of a game.

Koloko, with his active defense, good instincts, and rangy, long arms, was a superb defensive stopper, a strong rebounder, and a player who altered and influenced a lot of opponents' shots. Opponents had great difficulty scoring near the basket with Koloko patrolling the paint. Koloko would regularly take on the assignment of guarding an opposing team's best low-post player or big man. Being able to thrive in a number of different defensive situations and contexts enabled Koloko to become especially central to the Wildcats' success.

Without Mathurin and Koloko, the ceiling for this new Arizona team is likely lower than the one for last season's team. This is why UCLA is the preseason choice for many as the likely Pac-12 Conference champion. This doesn't mean Arizona won't be good; the Wildcats have depth and quality in their lineup, certainly to the extent that they will finish in the top three of the Pac-12, and probably the top two right behind UCLA. However, the idea that Arizona can get a No. 1 seed the way last season's team did also feels like a stretch at this point.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Utah Tech-Arizona College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Utah Tech-Arizona Odds

Utah Tech Trailblazers: +28.5 (-110)

Arizona Wildcats: -28.5 (-110)

Over: 163.5 (-115)

Under: 163.5 (-105)

Why Utah Tech Could Cover the Spread

The Trailblazers are new to the Division I men's college basketball scene, and though they have lost a few games early in the season, they look decent — not great, but not terrible. They look like they belong on the court. They lost by 13 on the road at Nevada, and they lost by 11 on the road against a Pac-12 team, Washington. If they can play relatively competitive basketball against those teams, they can play Arizona closer than 28 points, especially with the Wildcats growing into the season and getting used to playing without some of the players who made last season's Arizona team so special. Arizona might evolve into an elite team by the end of the season, but right now we're seeing Arizona go through the process of understanding how to play together. That could work to Utah Tech's benefit.

Why Arizona Could Cover the Spread

The Utah Tech Trailblazers were relatively competitive against Nevada and Washington, but that's nothing compared to the athleticism Arizona can throw at Utah Tech. The Trailblazers are going to get run out of the McKale Center in Tucson.

Final Utah Tech-Arizona Prediction & Pick

The Wildcats do have a level of quality Utah Tech has not seen and is not likely to be fully prepared for. Arizona can and will win this game by 30.

Final Utah Tech-Arizona Prediction & Pick: Arizona -28.5