KenPom projects Arizona will win 85-80 with a 66 percent win probability.
Here’s how we think the game will shake out:
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 87-82
I don’t see how this won’t be a high-scoring game, but I never pick against Arizona in McKale, hence my selection here.
This is a really intriguing matchup, though. How will Arizona defend ASU’s guards? How will ASU defend UA’s oversized frontcourt?
Arizona has the talent edge and homecourt advantage, but ASU is better-coached and a more cohesive team.
In the end, I think these teams will split the season series with the home team winning each time.
Jason Bartel — Arizona wins 94-92
Give me a buzzer-beating 3 by Rawle Alkins to hand ASU its first loss of the season and give Arizona a huge boost at the start of Pac-12 play.
This should be a great game and probably the first time I’ve actually looked forward to an Arizona/ASU basketball game.
Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 88-86
ASU is a helluva team, with Tra Holder being the best guard to pass through Tempe since James Harden, and Bobby Hurley coaching out of his gourd this season.
That said, they don’t have the depth to match Arizona, especially on the hardwood at McKale (with or without the Zoo in attendance, since they haven’t been a factor since Salim laced em up). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if ASU wins this bad boy, but I expect Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier to do just enough to earn Arizona the win, with a brutal road trip to Utah and Colorado awaiting them next weekend.
Robby Leano — Arizona wins 90-85
I'm both confident for an Arizona win, yet wouldn’t be surprised if ASU wins. While normal ranking standards would call for Arizona "upsetting" ASU, keep in mind a few things. Arizona's a different team than when they took a nose dive in Atlantis and are more complete now with Rawle Alkins back. McKale Center is usually a tough place to play, but the timing of the "Holiday Pack" and Pac-12 scheduling has me scratch my head to whether or not it will be normal McKale Center. Either way, Arizona wins.
Matt Sheeley — Arizona wins 86-80
Seeing everyone else’s prediction nearly made me flip mine just to add a little diversity here but I just can’t see the Sun Devils coming into McKale and stealing one. Don’t get me wrong, they’re legitimately good and if this one were played in Tempe or even at a neutral location, I’d lean their way. But the Wildcats have had more than a week off, they have more talent and something tells me that they’re so accustomed to being the program that’s heaped with praise, that we could see Arizona play with a chip on their shoulder on Saturday night.
The Devils’ shooting will keep them in it and probably make things interesting late. But give me the ‘Cats in a close one behind another ultra-efficient night from Allonzo Trier.
Alec Sills-Trausch — Arizona wins 91-83
One streak ends. Another continues. Sean Miller's squad fends off ASU’s onslaught of 3-point attempts to end 2017 on a very high note. Also, don't rush the court....unless Phyllis leads the charge.