Battle of Wildcats: What to know about Arizona’s first-round opponent Weber State

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The Pac-12 had six teams selected for March Madness, including the Arizona Wildcats as the second No. 1 seed overall behind Florida.

The Wildcats (30-4) will play No. 16 seed Weber State (19-11) in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday at San Diego. Tipoff times are yet to be determined.

Some quick notes about Weber State, the Big Sky regular season and tournament champion that is playing in its first NCAA tournament since 2007:

— The Wildcats had two common opponents: UCLA and NAU. Arizona split with UCLA. The Bruins beat Weber State 83-60 at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 22. Weber State split with NAU, including a home overtime loss only 15 days ago. Arizona beat NAU 77-44 on Dec. 23.

— Weber State ranks No. 198 nationally averaging 34.4 rebounds a game. Arizona is 18th with 38.9 a game.

— Weber State has an RPI rating of No. 166 with a 5-9 record away from Ogden, Utah. Arizona has a No. 1 RPI and is 11-4 away from McKale Center.

WHERE AND WHEN PAC-12 TEAMS WILL PLAY

West Region
Thursday
No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU, Milwaukee
Friday
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Weber State, San Diego

South Region
Thursday
No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh, Orlando, Fla.
Friday
No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Tulsa, San Diego
No. 10 Stanford vs. No. 7 New Mexico, St. Louis

Midwest Region
Thursday
No. 10 ASU vs. No. 7 Texas, Milwaukee


— Weber State is 0-2 against the RPI Top 50. It has lost to No. 21 UCLA and No. 34 BYU. Arizona is 11-3 against the RPI Top 50.

— Weber State’s most impressive win is against No. 183 Montana. Its worst loss was at No. 287 Idaho State on Feb. 17.

— Arizona’s most impressive win came against No. 7 Duke. The Wildcats’ worst loss was at No. 58 California.

— Two of Weber State’s wins were against non-Division I opponents St. Katherine (107-36 on Dec. 17) and Northern New Mexico (75-49 on Dec. 18). The NCAA recognizes Weber State’s record as 17-11 and not 19-11 because of those victories.

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— Weber State sophomore forward Joel Bolomboy (6’9″ and 225) ranks fifth nationally with 10.9 rebounds a game. He is also fifth with 7.44 defensive rebounds a game. Senior guard Davion Berry, who hails from Pac-12 country (Oakland, Calif.), leads Weber State with 19.1 points a game.

— Berry is a 6’4″ senior guard who will most likely draw Nick Johnson as a defender. Berry had 14 points at UCLA and 23 points at BYU in the season opener Nov. 11.

— Weber State leads the Big Sky in these statistical categories: Defensive rebounding (26.1 a game), fewest fouls (512), field goal percentage defense (42.2), rebound margin (3.6), scoring defense (66.5), scoring margin (6.4), three-point field goal defense (33.3 percent) and three-point field goal shooting (38.9).

— Obviously with Arizona leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense (58.1), Friday’s game figures to be a low-scoring affair. Arizona’s athletes should be able to get out on transition off missed shots or turnovers.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.



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