No. 11 seed Arizona State (23-12) looks to continue the shooting rampage on which it found itself in the First Four after scoring a record 98 points, this time against No. 6 seed Texas Christian (21-12) in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
- Date: Friday, March 17, 2023
- Time: 7:05 AZT
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook has Arizona State listed as 5-point underdogs against the Horned Frogs, with the over/under set at 142 points.
- Watch: truTV
- Listen: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Spencer Gustafson: Well, that was certainly a pleasant surprise last time out against Nevada. The magic of March seemed to have sprinkled down on the Sun Devils from the rafters of Dayton Arena. The shots were falling left, right and center all night long –– 63% from the field is an unconscious number. However, let’s reel it back in for TCU.
This is a tough team who averages nearly 76 points per game, only allowing an average of 68. The team found itself competing for a Big 12 Tournament Championship against No. 7 Texas without its big man, Eddie Lampkin Jr., who entered the transfer portal. TCU fell 66-60 in the championship, but gave the Longhorns fits all game long. Two ferocious defenses going at each other between ASU and TCU should be great entertainment, so it’s going to come down to shot making.
If the Sun Devils can channel 75% of what it did on Wednesday in Dayton, making a little less than half of its shots, there’s a real shot to be dancing into the Round of 32. Mike Miles Jr. is the biggest Horned Frogs threat to contain, averaging 17.3 points per outing this year with a season-high 33 points in January against Baylor. The battle on the inside should be much more manageable with the absence of Lampkin Jr., so watch for Warren Washington and Devan Cambridge to get good looks at the basket throughout the game.
When it comes to free throw shooting, TCU has a slight edge at 70.1 percent on the season and ASU at 68.9 percent. It may seem slim, but in March, every point matters. This game is going to come down to the little things. Prediction: 73-72, Arizona State.