Arizona State Hopes to Continue Run
The Arizona State Sun Devils will meet the TCU Horned Frogs in the first round Friday after thrashing Nevada in the play-in game.
The Sun Devils cruised to a win in their First Four game, defeating the Wolf Pack by 25. Arizona State is rewarded with a chance to dance in the NCAA Tournament, where it will try to continue its strong play with an upset of the Horned Frogs.
TCU, meanwhile, is hoping to prove a higher seed would’ve been possible if not for an injury to star Mike Miles Jr. that resulted in a losing skid. Upon Miles’ return, the Horned Frogs defeated Kansas State by 13 in the Big 12 Tournament while taking Texas down to the wire in the semifinals.
According to NCAA basketball odds, the Horned Frogs have the fifth-best odds to win the West Region with +900 odds, but they’ll need to survive some top teams first to do so.
TCU Defense Gets Boost
The return of Miles has been crucial for the Horned Frogs’ offense, but their defense has benefited as well.
TCU’s defense is in the middle of the Big 12 in both points and field goal percentage allowed, with opponents averaging 67.9 points on 42.5% shooting.
Although the Horned Frogs’ offense may have taken a dip during Miles’ absence, going from 68.5 points without him to 73.7 points a game with him, their defense took a hit as well. TCU held opponents to 76 points without Miles while teams averaged 71.4 points against the Horned Frogs upon his recovery.
That defense was key in TCU’s Big 12 Tournament run, as it held opponents to 66.5 points a game on 42.2% shooting. The Horned Frogs also forced Kansas State into 20 turnovers in the quarterfinals, leading to 20 points.
TCU will need to continue to bring that strength on defense when it matches up against an Arizona State team that looks to be getting hot offensively at the right time.
Arizona State Offense Turns It Around
The Arizona Sun Devils made a run in the Pac-12 Tournament, but their offense was less than impressive during their stretch.
Arizona State was sixth in the conference in scoring and 10th in shooting, averaging 70.3 points on 41.3% shooting, and it was that poor offense that ultimately ended the Sun Devils’ run in the Pac-12 semifinals against Arizona.
The Sun Devils averaged 66.3 points on 37% shooting in the tournament, but they looked like a different team in their First Four game against Nevada.
Arizona State shot 63.6% and scored 98 points, its highest point total of the season, to advance past the play-in. It had five players in double figures, with four of them scoring over 15 points.
What a first half from Arizona State 🔥
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 16, 2023
The Sun Devils won’t shoot at as high a percentage of a clip moving forward, but their balanced scoring is a winning formula for the postseason.
TCU vs Arizona State Game Injuries
TCU vs Arizona State Head-to-Head
TCU and Arizona State have met four times previously and are tied 2-2. The Sun Devils won the last matchup (52-49) in November 2009 in Arizona.
According to college basketball lines, TCU is a 5½-point favorite in the matchup.
TCU vs Arizona State Game Information
- Game: TCU (21-12, 9-9 Big 12) vs Arizona State (23-12, 11-9 Pac-12)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Day/Time: Friday, March 17, 10:05 p.m. ET
- TCU vs Arizona State Live Stream: TBS.com
TCU vs Arizona betting lines
TCU vs Arizona State Picks and Prediction
Arizona State had a big game in its win over Nevada and TCU now awaits.
Though the Sun Devils were aided by season highs in both scoring and field goal percentage, they were helped by a strong defensive first half as well, holding Nevada to 26 points. The Horned Frogs enter the tournament with a healthy Miles as well as a solid defense.
Arizona State will be heading into the matchup confident from its win, but another shooting night as well as Wednesday’s is rare. The Sun Devils will come back to earth as TCU grabs the win to advance.
The TCU Horned Frogs are listed at -235 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Horned Frogs, you have a chance to win $43. The Arizona State Sun Devils are +195, offering a chance to win $195 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the TCU Horned Frogs a 70.15% chance to win, with the Arizona State Sun Devils at 33.90%.