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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona men’s basketball can sweep ASU tonight in Tempe


The Arizona men’s basketball team continues their winning streak by defeating Colorado 75-54. Next week, the Wildcats will be on the road and take on Arizona State University. 

Round two of the Arizona–ASU rivalry will take place this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as the No. 22 Wildcats travel up to Tempe to potentially sweep ASU.

The first game was a complete blowout from start to finish for Arizona as Zeke Nnaji led the Wildcats with 17 points with three other Wildcats scoring in double figures. Remy Martin was the only player for ASU to score in double-figures and Romello White and Taeshon Cherry didn’t score at all.

This past weekend, Arizona finally got their first signature win as they beat No. 20 Colorado at home. They didn’t just beat the Buffaloes, however, they blew them out by 21 points. Before that, they put up 93 against Utah. 

The big difference between the last two games and the rest of the season has been Arizona’s ability to hit threes. Just in the last two games, Max Hazzard has made nine threes and tied Nnaji with 24 points to lead scorers against Utah.

Arizona has been a completely different team on the road rather than at home. They don’t have a road win yet and the only wins they have away from McKale Center were at the Wooden Legacy. With the resurgence of the ASU basketball program that Bobby Hurley has brought, expect a loud and hostile crowd similar to the last couple years.

“Winning on the road in college basketball is very difficult,” head coach Sean Miller said. “It always has been, and it usually crowns the conference champion. It separates a fair season from a good one or instead of having a good year you have a great year.”

“No matter where you go, everyone’s going to give their best shot against us,” freshman Josh Green said. “We’ve been in tough environments like Oregon, and even Baylor was cool. But it’s just certain things. Everyone wants to give us their best shot.”

For Arizona to win again, they’re going to need to do a lot of what they did the last time these two teams met. They held Rob Edwards to only two points, and Romello White was scoreless. The Sun Devils also went 3-21 from three and shot just 30.5 percent overall. 

“We have a lot of respect for [Edwards],” Miller said. “He had a really good season a year ago, and I think in both games he impacted our game when we played them a year ago. In game one, he wasn’t as aggressive as I’ve seen him here recently.”

With how bad the Sun Devils shot from three in the first game, don’t expect that to happen again. Against Utah, they went 11-18 and generally make more than six per game at the minimum. 

Before the last game, it was talked up to be the matchup of Martin and Nico Mannion. Even though Arizona won, Martin still went off for 20 points and made all of ASU’s three-pointers. Mannion, on the other hand, had a more all-around game with 10 points, seven assists and a couple of rebounds. 

This is again going to be the match-up to watch, as outside of Payton Pritchard at Oregon these are two of the best point guards in the conference. Mannion has also shown flashes of his defense getting better when he guarded Pritchard and McKinley Wright IV earlier this year. 

The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network at 7:30 p.m.

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