After more schedule reshuffling, the Arizona at Arizona State men’s basketball game now has an official date after it was originally postponed from its scheduled Jan. 8 slot.
The game will now take place on Monday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. MST and will be aired on FS1.
This comes ahead of the anticipated first meeting between the two in-state rivals this Saturday, Jan. 29 at the McKale Center in Tucson. The game is scheduled for the coveted 12:30 p.m. time slot and should air on CBS as a lead-in to the popular Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament scheduled for the same weekend.
Nothing is certain under the circumstances college basketball operates under, and few teams have been unabated by scheduling issues and delays this season. But barring any COVID-19 spikes within the two programs, this weekend’s game one of the first opportunities for the country to view the Sun Devils in 2021-22.
Arizona State (6-10, 2-4 Pac-12) has struggled to find consistent cohesion on the offensive side, but a carefully developed defense-first identity, something Bobby Hurley said he has never truly had as a coach in Tempe, has allowed the Sun Devils to begin to steady a ship that appeared to be miles off course just a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, No. 3 Arizona (16-1) has resurfaced as one of the best teams in the nation under new coach Tommy Lloyd, who has reinvigorated the Wildcats after the final years of former coach Sean Miller were coated in turmoil.
The program is back in the national conversation as a title favorite after self-imposing a postseason ban last season in the midst of an FBI probe which uncovered a former Arizona assistance coach had bribed players to commit to the school while working under Miller.
The Wildcats are led by one of the most efficient offensive attacks in the nation, sitting at fifth nationally in field goal percentage (50%).
Despite oftentimes having a disadvantage in talent, Arizona State has measured up well in recent history against their southern rivals. In the last six contests, the teams have split records of 3-3, although the Wildcats have won the last two.