The Arizona Wildcats have had a week to think about just their second conference loss of the year, and now travel to Tempe to finish the regular season by being the guests for the Arizona State Sun Devils’ senior day.
Arizona has a chance to clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season championship with a win on Saturday. The Wildcats beat Bobby Hurley and the Devils in Tempe last year, a game highlighted by the ASU head coach getting tossed.
So what do we think will happen this time around? We give our game predictions here, and be sure to share yours as well!
Alec Sills-Trausch: For some unknown reason, the Wildcats have had trouble in Wells Fargo Arena, losing three of their last five games there. I don’t see that happening this year, though. The Sun Devils are one of the worst defensive teams in the nation (262 per KenPom), but due to their pace of play, they’re a top 52 offensive team. Saying that, Arizona’s much better across the board and I expect the Wildcats to wrap up the regular season with a victory and with it, Co-Conference Regular Season Champions.
Arizona 81 - ASU 68
Brandon Hill: As Alec alluded to, this is far from a gimme given the recent history playing in Tempe. Bobby Hurley and company would love nothing more than to beat their bitter rival and send the home fans home with a huge win in the home finale. ASU can score but can’t stop anyone, as illustrated by their -2.5 scoring margin per game on the season. To an extent there’s a “throw out the records” element, and ASU at 14-16 has a shot to finish the year at or near .500 with a couple wins, so this is a game to not take lightly. Ultimately, Arizona has been stewing on the UCLA loss for a week (we’ll see if that was a positive or negative) and is eying a run in the Pac-12 Tournament leading to a 2-seed or an outside shot at nearing the 1-line should they run the table.
Arizona 85 ASU 74
David Potts: Arizona State’s defense isn't very good, and though the Wildcats have struggled, they'll be able to put up points on the Sun Devils.
Arizona 82, ASU 75
Ryan Kelapire: I think this will be a close game for the most part, but ultimately the Wildcats will win by double figures.
Arizona 77, Arizona State 62
James Schlittenhart: Arizona is the better team across the board, and they haven’t lost a game yet this season where this has been the case. The trend continues in Tempe. It will be interesting to see if Lauri Markkanen experiences a bit of a rejuvenation against a poor defensive team. I expect the score will be closer than most Wildcat fans would prefer, but Arizona comes out with a win.
Arizona - 79 ASU - 70
Jason Bartel: For me, I think ASU keeps it close the whole way, and this is a one possession game coming down to the end. Fortunately, the Sun Devils can’t close it out on the defensive end, allowing the Wildcats to finish the year 16-2 in a weak Pac-12.
Arizona 84, ASU 80