Arizona State (20-10, 11-8 Pac-12) remains in the Los Angeles metro area for the climactic game of its regular season as it faces USC (21-9, 13-6 Pac-12) at the Galen Center. Two nights ago, the Sun Devils were able to roll over their momentum from that momentous finish at Arizona for the first 15 minutes against UCLA; but the chance to secure consecutive resumé-bolstering victories sputtered as the Sun Devils’ offense went cold in the second half in a 79-61 loss to the Bruins.
- Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
- Time: 9 p.m. MT
- Location: Galen Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Odds: FanDuel Sportsbook has Arizona State listed as 4.5-point underdogs, with the over/under set at 141.5 points.
- Watch: FS1
- Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Jack Johnson: Arizona State has spent so much time around the NCAA Tournament bubble in recent weeks it could have proof of residency to apply for a driver’s license. After moving inside the cut line with the win over Arizona, the deflating loss to UCLA has put them back on the outside looking in. Regardless of tonight’s result, the Sun Devils will likely have to pick up at least one win in the Pac-12 Tournament starting next week, but a loss would really make it a tall order to qualify for the big dance for the first time since 2019.
The Sun Devils started hot against UCLA, but couldn’t sustain it. I expect a much more measured performance against USC. The team has amassed plenty of experience in tight contests, and that should help them if it’s a close one tonight. If it’s a victory, it’s because they limited Boogie Ellis, who scored 18 points last time out against Arizona State and dropped a cool 35 points against Arizona two nights ago. If it’s a loss, it’s because Desmond Cambridge and DJ Horne could not hit enough shots to spell the offense through the Sun Devils notorious scoring droughts.
But for what is on the table, the Sun Devils find a way. They did it against all odds in Tucson last week, and tonight they will do it again. Let’s say Sun Devils, 74-70.