The Arizona Wildcats are among the 16 teams left in the NCAA Tournament, and are one of three No. 1 seeds playing a fourth-seeded team in the Sweet Sixteen.
Standing in their way of a trip to the Elite Eight are the San Diego State Aztecs.
“These are two very similar built teams with good on-ball defense, elite rebounding and terrible shooting, for the most part,” Paul Bessire, creator of Predictionmachine.com, told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Ultimately, Arizona is better at every single position though. While they are similarly crafted, Arizona is significantly better.
“We see the Wildcats win in their own right about 75 percent of the time. 62-58 is our predicted score.”
After 50,000 simulations of the upcoming Thursday night game, Bessire says his system predicts the Wildcats should handle the Aztecs, but also reveals that they are only the seventh most likely team to win the NCAA Championship.
Bessire’s simulations put Arizona at a 31.3 percent chance of making the Final Four out of the West Regional, which are better odds than San Diego State, Baylor and Wisconsin.
“It’s a difficult thing for Arizona to get out of the region itself,” Bessire said. “Plus, by the time they get to the Final Four, for all the teams that are higher than them in the power rankings, a lot of them are a little bit better free throw shooting teams, and I think it’s going to be critical at that point to shoot from outside as well.”