This is the question on the minds of many Sun Devil fans this afternoon as we ponder the sudden downturn of the basketball team.
Interestingly enough, this weekend has a parallel.
January 21st, 2009: ASU wins a tense battle in Tucson against their rivals, the Arizona Wildcats. With the 53-47 win, the Sun Devils have legitimized themselves in the Pac-10 as a true contender.
That previous Saturday, ASU had just beaten UCLA in Los Angeles, and was riding a huge wave of momentum.
Then, the unthinkable occurred. Washington State and Washington swept us at home, leaving all of us scratching our heads at the inconsistency of the team.
We quickly forgot about this as we went on a 5 game winning streak, beating both Oregon schools, both SoCal schools, and once again winning a heated matchup against the Wildcats on February 22nd.
Then, the unthinkable occurred. We got swept in Washington by both schools.
Common denominator? The Arizona Wildcats.
Both weeks, our team was drained from the colossal effort of beating Arizona. The rivalry games enforced our superiority in Arizona, but left us ill-equipped to beat the Washington schools.
Unfortunately, we cannot go back and fix these mistakes, but it is clear to me that the Washington schools were the beneficiaries of the rivalry.
What do you think? Was it mere coincidence, or a real possibility?