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July 23, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: California at Arizona

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

An Arizona fan yells her disapproval about a call during their game against UNLV at the McKale Center in Tucson Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Arizona won the game 63-58.

It was bound to happen at some point.

Today’s installment of our Play of the Day, which gave the three contestants a starting bankroll of $10,000 and uses odds from the South Point, might feature the largest favorite in the history of the contest. It’s at least the first double-digit favorite I’ve taken in this space.

Arizona minus-12.5 vs. California: $330 to win $300

It feels like everyone has plunged off of the Arizona train since it lost sophomore forward Brandon Ashley for the rest of the season earlier this month.

Don’t get me wrong: Ashley’s broken foot was devastating, but the Wildcats have methodically learned how to account for his absence and played better in every game without him. A 27-point blowout win at Colorado and a gutsy overtime victory at Utah in the span of three days last week show Arizona still deserves to be regarded as the best team in the nation.

The Golden Bears will have the Wildcats’ full focus and then some tonight. Arizona wants revenge after its first loss of the season came to California, 60-58, in the game where Ashley hurt himself in the opening minutes. The McKale Center will be the rowdiest environment California has played in all year.

This line could rightfully be a couple points higher.

Standings: Bern (13-6, $11,720), Keefer (5-9, $8,197), Brewer (5-10-2, $6,910)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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