It’s been more than a quarter-century since the Arizona Wildcats’ men’s basketball program last hoisted a national title trophy, but there’s reason for optimism 2024 could be the year in Tucson.
The latest example of that steadfast, citywide optimism came Tuesday when former North Carolina guard Caleb Love sent a shockwave across the college basketball world by committing to the Wildcats, giving coach Tommy Lloyd a cornerstone talent to build his roster around.
The addition of Love, who averaged 16.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in Chapel Hill last season, did little to bolster the Wildcats’ Arizona sports betting title futures. Arizona started and ended Tuesday at +2000.
The move did, however, give Wildcats fans further reason to believe the school’s 26-year title drought could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
College Basketball Championship Odds
What Love Adds to Arizona’s Roster
The Wildcats were a three-man threat offensively last season, with forward Azuolas Tubelis leading the team in scoring (19.8 PPG) and rebounding (9.1 RPG). Center Oumar Ballo (14.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG) and guard Courtney Ramey (10.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.6 assists per game) were the only other Arizona players to average double figures.
With Ramey exhausting his college eligibility and Tubelis entering the 2023 NBA Draft, there’s room for new faces to emerge.
That means Love could excel quickly in Tucson under Lloyd’s fast-paced, space-based offensive system, and the team’s Pac-12 title odds could jump at Arizona sports betting apps.
If Love can shoot the ball like he did with the Tar Heels, where he averaged 16.3 PPG on 37.5% shooting over the last two seasons, then Arizona will be a tour de force this season.
The 6-foot-4-inch rising senior guard out of St. Louis will likely be counted on to replace the output of Ramey more so than Tubelis, considering his similar build to the Texas transfer.
Who Else Could Shine This Season?
Love will likely be the Wildcats’ starting off-ball guard, joining rising sophomore Kylan Boswell in the backcourt, with Alabama transfer guard Jaden Bradley figuring prominently as well.
Between those two newcomers and the return of Ballo down low and the addition of San Diego State graduate transfer forward Keshad Johnson, Arizona should have plenty of offensive weaponry to secure the Wildcats’ second Pac-12 regular season title in three years. If you want to make that bet, be sure to get your Arizona sportsbook promo codes at BetArizona.com.
With UCLA and USC both in their final seasons in the Pac-12, the Wildcats’ future as the conference’s bellwether program begins in earnest this winter.
The arrival of Love should send a message to the other programs in the Pac-12, as well as the rest of the country, that the Wildcats don’t plan on dropping the ball after going 61-11 (.847) the last two seasons.