The Arizona Wildcats and ASU Sun Devils men's basketball teams have at least a few things in common this season--they both are well-coached (by Sean Miller and Herb Sendek, respectively) and play hard from the opening tip until the final horn.
Unfortunately, at least for the Devils, the resemblance ends there, in terms of being able to play a complete 40-minute game that ends with them on top.
This weekend's games proved no exception, with losses to both USC and UCLA that could qualify for the heartbreak category--63-61 to the Trojans and 73-72 in overtime to the Bruins.
In the latter game, which we watched in its entirety, ASU seemed way outclassed for the first 25 minutes or so until mounting a improbable, but steady comeback that gave them a fighting chance to steal a desperately needed win.
But losing usually does seem to beget losing, and in the end, the Devils fell to a dismal 1-8 in the Pac-10 Conference at the midway point of the season, dead last in what's not one of the nation's top-dog leagues this year.
Life was much brighter down in Tucson, where the Cats double-dipped the So-Cal teams, moving into a first-place tie with a 7-2 mark at the break. Arizona is tied with the Washington Huskies, a solid bunch that got beat in Pullman last night by archrival Washington State in a game most notable for the maic fan support by the hometown Cougars' faithful.
Guess there's not much else to do on a cold Washington night than cheer on good old WSU--it was both nutty and impressive.
The Arizona schools make the always-dangerous trek to the Bay Area this weekend to take on Stanford and California, two decent teams who seem to play much tougher at home.
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A split for the Wildcats would be nice.
A win for the Sun Devils would be a godsend.