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Clemson vs. Arizona Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024

Clemson vs. Arizona Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024 

CLEMSON VS. ARIZONA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 28, 2024 — On one hand, this draw could be Arizona’s nightmare. In consecutive years under Tommy Lloyd, the Wildcats have been dismissed by teams that slow the pace and force them to grind.

And that’s a perfect description of Clemson. The Tigers give up plenty of shots, but they hold teams under 40% with a defense that ranks 13th nationally. And they did it in the ACC, a league we now know was highly underrated outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The defense stood tall in the first two games, holding New Mexico to 56 and Baylor to 64 to reach the last 16. With seven of the Tigers’ past 10 opponents failing to reach 70 points, the Clemson defense is formidable.

On the other hand, the Wildcats’ biggest weakness against Houston in 2022 and Princeton in 2023 was turnovers, not missed shots. Grinding out games has worked against Arizona because it’s forced the Wildcats into mistakes with the basketball.

Related: Sweet 16 Power Rankings

And that’s exactly what Clemson doesn’t do. The Tigers don’t force teams into turnovers; they force them into bad shots. But they do allow them to get off shots. In the ACC, only Georgia Tech forced fewer turnovers and recorded fewer steals than Clemson. The Wildcats might not get the looks they want, but they aren’t going to have to worry about throwing the basketball away. Historically, that’s favored Arizona.

This game’s going to come down to which defense can make the other offense more uncomfortable. And based off play styles, it appears Arizona’s got the edge in this matchup.

The Odds 







(23-11 SU, 19-14 ATS) 






(27-8 SU, 22-11-2 ATS)






When: Thursday, March 28 at 7:10 p.m. EST 

Where: Arena, Los Angeles


Public Bets: 60% on Clemson 

Public Money: 70% on Clemson

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 27th, 2024

Clemson vs. Arizona In-Season Trends 

The teams have one common opponent in Duke, and that game was a defensive battle for both teams. Clemson came up just short in a 72-71 loss to the Blue Devils in Durham, while Arizona edged Duke by a 78-73 count. In recent weeks, Arizona has mostly looked sharp, but the Wildcats have been prone to occasional head-scratchers.

Their two losses in their past eight games were also the only games where they failed to cover, defeats against USC and Oregon. And as you’d expect, the Wildcats threw the ball away both nights. They had 14 turnovers against the Ducks and 17 against the Trojans, ensuring they weren’t competitive.

Related: Alabama vs. North Carolina Pick and Prediction

Clemson remains a bettor’s dream because of how the Tigers match their result to their spread performance. You’ve got to go all the way back to Jan. 30 to find a Clemson game where the winning team failed to cover the spread. Fopr the year, just seven Clemson games have seen the winning side fail to cover, and five of those came before Christmas. Since the calendar turned, only the loss at Duke and a six-point home win over Louisville saw the winning team fail to cover with Clemson involved.

The Difference-Makers 

PJ Hall has to remain on the floor in this game. Not only is the senior center one of the main cogs in the Clemson offense, but he’s one of the mainstays of the Tigers’ solid interior defense. In the first two rounds, he didn’t find the whistles to his liking and forced Brad Brownell to go to the bench multiple times. He carried four fouls against New Mexico and fouled out against Baylor, the latter of which could have opened the door to a Bear comeback. Arizona will exploit that if Hall lands in foul trouble again.

If you hooked Tommy Lloyd up to a lie detector, he might tell you he wishes he could force Caleb Love inside the 3-point arc, or at least force him to pass when he’s on the arc. Love leads the Wildcats in points for no other reason than the sheer volume of shots he puts up from deep. The Wildcats have better shooters from deep in Kylan Boswell and Pelle Larsson, but Love will shoot early and often from deep.

Against Long Beach, he went 3-for-12 and followed by going 3-for-8 against Dayton. To make matters worse for Arizona, Clemson knows how to play Love from his time at North Carolina. This might not be the matchup the Wildcats wanted.

The Pick 

Clemson’s inability to force turnovers is a worry with this Arizona squad. But there’s a real chance that Love is going to shoot the Wildcats out of the game by taking shots that he’s not really skilled enough to make.

Arizona’s looked like the better team, but Clemson’s ability to handle tough games can’t be discounted here. With Love likely to force shots, the Tigers should keep this close.

Dan’s Picks 

 Clemson +7.5  

 Under 151.5


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  1. Pingback:Alabama vs. North Carolina Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024

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