Sure both teams have struggled down the final stretch of the season, Arizona has lost four of seven while Arizona State has lost three straight, but there is just no way the Wildcats will lose at home, especially on senior night. There’s too much on the line for Arizona to fall flat as they still have an outside chance at claiming a share of the Pac 12 regular season title, with a little help of course.
The Wildcats need to beat ASU and hope that both UCLA and Oregon both lose on Saturday to earn a share of the championship. However, on the flip side, if they lose to the Sun Devils they are in danger of falling to fifth place in the conference, and a first round bye in next week’s conference tournament, if Colorado can beat Oregon State. There’s still a lot at stake for Arizona and they can’t afford to not have a first round bye with the way they have been playing lately.
If you look at the first game between these two teams it was not much of a contest. It was on Arizona State’s home floor nonetheless but it was also when Arizona was playing their best basketball. The Wildcats ran away with a 71-54 victory to improve to 16-1 and 4-1 in the conference. That seems like a long time ago at this point as plenty has happened since then but all that goes out the window at this point.
Arizona State is teetering on the very outside of the NCAA Tournament bubble so a win over their rival would be a crucial resume booster. They will likely come out with plenty or urgency but Arizona just has to weather the storm and this game will eventually become an easy win for the Wildcats.
It has been a wacky college basketball season with ranked teams getting upset left and right but this should be a cut and dry victory for an overall better team in Arizona.