TV Schedule: Sunday, Jan. 3, 2:00 p.m. ET, FS1
Stadium: Wells Fargo Arena (AZ)
Pac-12 play is in session, which means we get to see great contests like this one on a weekly basis.
The Arizona Wildcats are doing Arizona-like things already. They hold a 12-1 record and are also ranked as high as No. 7 in college basketball. The Arizona State Sun Devils aren’t getting as much hype entering this clash, as they hold a 10-3 record and have no fancy ranking going for them.
Arizona’s one loss came against the Providence Friars, which is a team that looks like a national title contender. The Wildcats’ most notable wins have come against the Gonzaga Bulldogs and UNLV Rebels.
Giving the ball to the Sun Devils, they were taken down by the Sacramento State Hornets in upset fashion, and they also have losses against the Marquette Golden Eagles and Kentucky Wildcats. Arizona State’s notable victories have come against the NC State Wolfpack, Creighton Bluejays, Texas A&M Aggies and UNLV.
When it comes to putting the ball in the hoop, Arizona has three players who are averaging 13 or more points per game, and it is averaging 78.9 PPG as a team. Four Arizona State players are averaging double figures in the scoring department, and the Sun Devils are putting up 75.5 points per game overall.
The biggest difference — well, at least on paper — could come on the defensive side of the ball, as Arizona is only giving up 61.8 PPG and Arizona State is allowing 68.1 PPG.
Nonetheless, both teams are 0-0 in conference play, so things could change in a hurry when it comes to the favorite for the Pac-12 title.
PREDICTION: Wildcats 68, Sun Devils 61