152nd Edition of Duel in the Desert
One of the best in-state rivalries in all of college sports is renewed on Saturday. The Arizona State Sun Devils (19-9, 10-7 Pac-12) will pay a visit to McKale Center to take on the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats (24-4, 13-4).
This matchup will feature contrasting styles, as Arizona State ranks 33rd in defensive efficiency while Arizona is fifth in offensive efficiency. The Sun Devils are 3-1 and 2-2 against the spread (ATS) over the last four, while the Wildcats are 2-1 and 1-2 ATS in the last three. Which squad will reign supreme in the Duel in the Desert?
Let’s check the latest college basketball news, stats, injury reports, and college basketball lines for Arizona State vs Arizona. We’ve got plenty of NCAA basketball picks for you to consider.
Arizona State Fighting for Tournament Bid
With three regular-season games remaining, Arizona State is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Sun Devils have big opportunities coming up against Arizona, No. 4 UCLA and USC.
ASU has held four consecutive opponents to less than 70 points and three of its last four to under 40% shooting from the field. However, perimeter defense is a concern after allowing nine or more made 3-pointers in three of four. Arizona boasts one of the nation’s top offenses and ranks in the 90th percentile at 37.2% from three.
The Sun Devils also have an inconsistent offense, ranking 126th in efficiency. It shot under 42% in three of the last four, which is on par with Arizona State’s 41.8% average (300th). Starting guards Desmond Cambridge Jr. (13.7 points) and DJ Horne (11.5 points) must produce to keep up with the Wildcats’ explosive offense.
Arizona Targeting Top Seed
The Wildcats are hitting their stride at the perfect time, winning nine of the last 10 while going 7-3 ATS. Arizona’s seven-game winning streak was snapped on Feb. 11 with a 88-79 loss against Stanford. However, the Wildcats are still in a position to win the Pac-12 at +400, per NCAAB odds. Arizona is two games behind UCLA and must be perfect in the final three games, including a regular-season finale against the Bruins.
UA is also hunting a No. 1 seed for March Madness. The Wildcats are on the two-line but could easily move to a one by winning the Pac-12 or the Pac-12 Tournament. To do so, Arizona must go through UCLA. Grabbing a top seed would certainly boost the Wildcats’ +1400 odds to win the national championship.
Arizona State will be a good test. The Sun Devils will try to slow Arizona’s blistering fast pace, which is the 11th quickest nationally. ASU also ranks seventh in opponent field goal percentage and third in opponent 2-point percentage. It will be strength against strength, as the Wildcats are 12th in 2-point percentage.
Arizona State vs Arizona Game Injuries
Arizona State vs Arizona Head-to-Head
Arizona has won five consecutive matchups while going 3-2 ATS. However, the Wildcats are 2-2 ATS in their last four home games against the Sun Devils.
Arizona State vs Arizona Game Information
- Game: Arizona State (19-9, 10-7 Pac-12) vs Arizona (24-4, 13-4)
- Location: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
- Day/Time: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m. ET
- Arizona State vs Arizona Live Stream: TBS.com
Arizona State vs Arizona Betting Lines
Arizona State vs Arizona Picks and Prediction
Expect Arizona State to show desperation in its final three games. The Sun Devils need signature wins to enter the tournament conversation. Plus, coach Bobby Hurley could be fighting for his job. ASU has not met expectations and drama has surrounded the program this season, including the indefinite suspension of forward Marcus Bagley, who was Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
However, Arizona could be too much. The Wildcats are one of a handful of teams in the Pac-12 with the frontcourt to challenge Arizona State’s strong paint defense. In fact, Arizona could have the best big men nationally with forward Azuolas Tubelis (19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds) and center Oumar Ballo (14.6 points and nine rebounds). The Wildcats have also won six straight home games while going 5-1 ATS. Look for another Arizona cover in the McKale Center.