Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils – NCAAM January 21

Arizona (10-3, 4-3) at Arizona State (4-6, 1-3)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, AZ
  • TV: ESPN

What’s at Stake

Arizona lost two in a row to USC and UCLA in McKale Center, but rebounded for a 98-64 win at Oregon State a week ago. Then the Wildcats were postponed last Saturday at Oregon due to covid issues within the Ducks’ program. Arizona pulled itself from post season play due to NCAA allegations within the program.

Arizona State just wants to reestablish itself after four covid postponements of Pac-12 games and four losses in a row dating back to it’s last win on Dec. 12 vs. Grand Canyon. The Sun Devils have won three of the last four in the series. They swept the two games in 2018-19 while last year’s win at McKale Center was the first since 2010. Arizona won six in a row in the series from 2016-2018.

This is the first of two games in a row involving the two teams as the return game is Monday night in Tucson.

Vs. The Spread

Arizona:

  • The Wildcats are 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 7 of the last 8 for Arizona
  • ‘Zona is 7-3 SU in it’s last 10 roadies

Arizona State:

  • The Sun Devils are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The total has been over in 12 of ASU’s last 18 games
  • However, the total has gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 matchups between the Wildcats and Sun Devils

Last Time Out

Arizona scored the game’s first 15 points in handing Oregon State a 98-64 loss on Jan. 14 as it was the worst home-court loss for the Beavers since 2010. Benedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 31 points while Jordan Brown came off the bench and made 10-of-12 shots to score 25 points in 21 minutes.

The Sun Devils took an 80-79 loss to the Beavers in Corvallis last weekend as Marcus Bagley led ASU with 19 points while Remy Martin and Josh Christopher added 14 each. Bagley hit a go-ahead triple with 11 seconds remaining before Warith Alatishe’s dunk was the difference with 1.3 seconds to play.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Arizona -2.5 (-110) -145 O 154 (-115)
Arizona State +2.5 (-110) +125 U 154 (-105)

For the Wildcats To Win

Arizona Wildcats LogoThe efficiency of the Arizona offense against a struggling ASU defense looks like the difference in this game. Arizona is 18th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency as they make 36.7 percent of their triples while using the size inside of 6-11 Azuolas Tubelis (11.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg), who leads Arizona in scoring in Pac-12 games, and 7-1 sophomore Christian Koloko (5.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg) in the paint. Jordan Brown (10.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg) is a game changer off the bench with his 6-11, 235-pound frame. James Akinjo (13.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) leads Arizona in scoring as he plays 34.6 minutes per game as Akinjo (23), Jemarl Baker – who is out for the season with a wrist injury (24) – and Benedict Mathurin (20) are the primary 3-ball threats.

Cats Note:

Since Azuolas Tubelis was inserted into the Wildcats’ lineup five games ago, he has turned into an almost unstoppable force on offense for Arizona as he averages 16.6 points, 7.4 boards and he shoots 52.5 percent from the field in those five.

For the Sun Devils To Win

Arizona State has to defend and rebound – it’s been that simple. The firepower is there on offense, but the defensive acuity has been missing as opponents have shot 45 percent from the floor and 34.7 percent from three. In addition and just as tough for ASU is that the Sun Devils are being out rebounded by 9.0 boards per game. The Wildcats put up 80 points per game which will put pressure on the offense if the defensive acumen is still not up to speed. Remy Martin (16.5 ppg, 4.1 apg) leads ASU in scoring while Josh Christopher’s (15.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) game has started to climb even more as he averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 rebounds over his last four contests.

Sun Devils Fact:

Arizona State’s four turnovers in the loss at Oregon State tied for the fewest turnovers int he last 25 years. It was also only the second time in the Bobby Hurley era that the Sun Devils lost a game when shooting over 50 percent (32-2).

Winner: Arizona (-2.5) 81, Arizona State 74
Over-Under: Take OVER 154

The Bets
Arizona Wildcats -2.5
-110
OVER 154
-115
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.