Time: 11:30 p.m. ET
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Odds not yet available
FanDuel: Odds not yet available
BetMGM: Odds not yet available
Caesars: Odds not yet available
Arizona State: 22-11
No. 8 Arizona: 26-6
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Arizona State - Arizona preview, prediction and analysis
It almost seems like destiny that we have the Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats meeting in the Pac-12 semifinals. Not that I think this is rigged like most think the NFL is, but it’s definitely one of those situations where fate has brought us all together for what might be a sense of déjà vu.
Let’s set the scene: Arizona State is one win away from a conference title appearance because they knocked off two teams that have been pesky all year, the latter being the one that they should’ve lost. But a 77-72 win over USC has opened the door for a potential Cinderella run and others should the Sun Devils get that far with everything going on in the world.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. led the way with a game-high 27 points, while hitting six of ASU’s 14 3-pointers. DJ Horne chipped in with 16 points but shot just 3 of 12 from the floor. The Sun Devils got revenge from their 68-65 loss to USC back on March 4, the regular season finale.
But that’s now in the past. What’s in front of us now is Arizona State getting the Wildcats again after a miraculous 65-, 70-foot heave from — you guessed it — Cambridge stunned Arizona in Tucson and gave ASU a 20th win. Suddenly, things look vital and that seemed to wake up ASU in their quest. The Sun Devils have covered in four of their last six, including this last one as 4-point dogs to USC.
And while Arizona is favored and rightfully so, I have concerns after giving up 84 points and needing to score 95 in their quarterfinal win over Stanford on Thursday. Considering this is fresh off a loss to UCLA to close the season and that loss to ASU not too long ago, there’s a lot to factor when we’re talking about Arizona.
Oumar Ballo had 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting, Cedric Henderson had 23 points, and Azuolas Tubellis had 20 points with Arizona shooting 63.8 percent from the floor and looking absolutely dominant. But defensively was another story with Stanford going 14 of 29 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats have not been a good cover team as of late, going just 3-4 against the spread in the last seven after covering the previous three. The fact that this is turning into a thought that Arizona could lose again is very insane.
Expect Arizona to be favored and I’d expect to see ASU with a hefty number on it. I would take that number because Arizona is too shaky. Maybe a rival would help, but there’s just too much uncertainty around this one right now. Arizona 79, Arizona State 78
Projected starting lineup
PG: D.J. Home
SG: Frankie Collins
SF: Desmond Cambridge Jr.
PF: Devan Cambridge
C: Warren Washington
PG: Kerr Kriisa
SG: Courtney Ramey
SF: Cedric Henderson Jr.
PF: Azuolas Tubelis
C: Oumar Ballo
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