Can the Sun Devils swat away the Wildcats' hopes of a season sweep? - Christian Petersen
When the Wildcats and Sun Devils meet, there's no shortage of excitement throughout the state of Arizona. Can the last 10 games help predict who has the best chance of taking Saturday's season finale?
When Arizona State travels to Tucson on Saturday, the Sun Devils will be playing for more than just a chance at an at-large tournament berth.
The matchup with the Arizona Wildcats always carries added significance, and state bragging rights will be on the line once again.
Like any great rivalry, the Sun Devils and Wildcats go back and forth and the last five years have been no exception.
In the last 10 games played between the two schools, each team has won five. While Arizona has dominated the series of late by winning four of the last five, the presence of Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix will give Arizona State a chance to steal a victory in Tucson on Saturday.
Let's take a look at how each team has fared in the recent matchups.
2013: Arizona 71, ASU 54
The Sun Devils hung tough until the final 10 minutes of the game as the Wildcats forced Jahii Carson into late foul trouble. When the superstar point guard picked up his fourth foul, the Wildcats closed the game on an extended run led by Mark Lyons who finished with a game-high 24 points.
2012: ASU 87, Arizona 80
While the Wildcats came in as heavy favorites, the 9-20 Sun Devils played as if they had nothing to lose. Arizona State shot 55.8 percent from the field as Carrick Felix exploded for 23 points while freshman Jon Gilling set his career-high with 21 points. Jordan Bachynski contributed six blocks in the upset win.
2012: Arizona 68, ASU 51
The first matchup of the 2012 conference season was a resounding victory for the Wildcats who used an incredibly balanced effort to thwart the Sun Devils' hopes at starting off conference play with a bang. Solomon Hill had 11 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double and no Sun Devil player scored more than 12 points in the loss.
2011: Arizona 67, ASU 52
Guard Kyle Fogg torched the Sun Devils for 26 points on a phenomenal effort from beyond the arc. Fogg's 6-9 mark from the perimeter set the tone for the Wildcats and the Sun Devil offense never caught up. Jamelle McMillan led Arizona State with 12 points, but Arizona State shot just 37.7 percent from the field in the loss.
2011: Arizona 80, ASU 69
Wildcat forward Derrick Williams had a career night as he dropped 31 points and collected 10 rebounds against an overmatched Sun Devil frontcourt. The Sun Devils shot the ball well as Trent Lockett scored 17 points on 6-7 from the field, but Arizona State lacked the defensive wherewithal to slow down the Wildcat offense.
2010: ASU 73, Arizona 69
The second closest matchup between these two schools in the past five years featured a phenomenal performance from Sun Devil star Ty Abbott who scored 28 points to help the Sun Devils squeak by with a win in Tucson. The victory marked the third consecutive time the Sun Devils had defeated the Wildcats on their home court and helped flip the script after a devastating 19-point defeat in Tempe earlier in the season.
2010: Arizona 77, ASU 58
A dismal shooting night doomed the Sun Devils as they shot just 30.2 percent for the game. Though the Sun Devils survived a rough first half and went into the break with a two-point advantage, the Wildcats pounced on Arizona State in the second half and outscored the Sun Devils by 21 en route to the 19-point victory. Derrick Williams and Kyle Fogg scored 20 and 21 points respectively.
2009: ASU 68, Arizona 56
The only thing harder than beating a team three times in the same season beating a rival three times in that season. The Sun Devils met the Wildcats for the third time in the Pac-12 conference tournament and used an electrifying 27-point performance from James Harden to advance to the second round of the tournament. Harden had nine field goals and made all eight free throw attempts in the win.
2009: ASU 70, Arizona 68
Arizona State improved to 21-5 on the season by narrowly escaping the Wildcats in Tempe. Four Wildcat players scored in double figures, but an 18-point outing from Harden and a double-double from Jeff Pendergraph carried the Sun Devils to victory.
2009: ASU 53, Arizona 47
The lowest scoring game between these two teams over the past five seasons took place in late January at the McKale Center. While Jordan Hill tried to will the Wildcats to a win, his 11 missed field goals allowed Harden and the Sun Devils to pull away with the victory. Derek Glasser made clutch free throws down the stretch to help ice the game for Arizona State.