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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Super Sunday for Tempe


The basketball themed duel in the desert on Sunday is more important in Tempe than it is in Tucson.

While diehard ASU fans are looking to next season, Arizona is looking up the NCAA tournament first-round cities.

Wildcat fans are riding their team’s five-game winning streak, while Sun Devil fans are trying to remember the last time their team won a game.

Sun Devils fans hope their team will keep the game close, while Arizona fans are wondering if their team will win by 10 or 20.

Arizona is 20-4, 9-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference, while ASU is 9-14, just 1-10 in the Pac-10.

The point is simple — Arizona is a good team and Arizona State is a really bad team.

Arizona State needs Sunday’s game to bring something positive to a fan base that has nothing to be proud of against their in-state rival except for the a missed extra point. Even then, their team went to off-season workouts while their rival still had another game after the season.

ASU does have a No. 13 softball team, but the Wildcats are No. 1.

Maybe the Sun Devil baseball team can finish with a better season than its rival. But it won’t happen this year, they’re on probation.

With Sunday’s basketball showdown, nothing will change ASU’s struggles against its rival.

With the current team the Sun Devils will bring to the court on Sunday, the sweep is guaranteed for the Wildcats.

Even if the Wildcats lose, what’s the worst that can happen? They’ll probably be tied for first place.

If the Sun Devils win, they’ll still be in last place.

Arizona State is the Cleveland Cavaliers of the Pac-10, and the irony is the Cavs coach Byron Scott is a former Sun Devil. Maybe Herb Sendek should send Scott a text message telling him to hang in there.

It’s obvious that Arizona players don’t view the Sun Devils like they did a year ago, and it wouldn’t be surprising if some Wildcat players are looking ahead to Washington next week.

Quite frankly, the Wildcats probably could use extra practice time to prepare for the Huskies this week and still leave Tempe with a win on Sunday night.  

Kevin Parrom is returning to Tempe after becoming the most hated man there following a hard foul on Ty Abbott a year ago. At Arizona’s weekly press conference, it wasn’t discussed, probably because it doesn’t matter at this point.

The biggest challenge for Arizona will be getting up for the game.

“”We got to play like we’re playing Washington or Kansas,”” said point guard Momo Jones.

It will be hard to imagine Jamelle McMillan being Isaiah Thomas and Kyle Cain as one of the Morris twins.

If you ask Sean Miller what he thinks of ASU, he probably will tell you they’re a good team that’s been unlucky.

“”They have dealt with more adversity than any team in our conference, and it’s not even close,”” Miller said. “”I really believe we have to play a tremendous game to beat ASU on their home court.””

But what else do you expect from a coach that’s going up against one of his mentors.

Every ASU fan knows the Sun Devils probably won’t win on Sunday. And if they do, they’re probably a delusional fan of a bad team.

Trust me I know how that goes — I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan.

While football fans are depressed because last Sunday was the last football game, for who knows how long, Sun Devil fans still have one last Sunday game to look forward to against the Wildcats.

What other team do Tempe-area fans have to look forward to in town after Sunday? The Suns?

­— Vincent Balistreri is a communication senior. He can be reached at

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