It wasn't even a sellout at the Wells Fargo Arena last night for the rivalry game between the ASU Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats, and probably with good reason.
The Wildcats do have a very nice team in this, their rebound year after missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in a quarter-century--hell, they are leading the Pac-10 men's conference by a game going into the final three weeks of the regular season.
But the Sun Devils are plain awful this go-`round, though they are well-coached, play hard and look almost desperate to win a game--any game. That may not happen very soon, if last night's 67-52 loss to Arizona is a fair barometer.
Generally speaking, this one was ugly, with several badly missed shots (especially by ASU) and ill-fated passes by both squads
But Arizona wasn't really threatened after the first several minutes slipped by, and we ended up leaving with four or five minutes to go.
In losing their 10th conference game in a row, ASU dropped to 1-11 in the conference, and 9-15 overall, The Wildcats continue to travel in exactly the opposite direction, with a 10-2 league record and an impressive 20-4 overall mark.
We sat last night with former NBA legends Wayne Embry (a Hall of Famer) and Al Bianchi, always a treat, and they both expressed positive thoughts about Arizona's star forward, Derrick Williams.
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But the Sun Devils' mission was to keep Williams from getting his usual number of touches, and at least that part worked--11 points and five rebounds is well under his average.
Still, Arizona can beat you in a number of ways, and on this night it was the sharp shooting of Kyle Fogg (tied a career high of 26) that did in the homeboys.
The Washington schools are here this week, with Washington facing ASU on Thursday night before heading down to Tucson for a huge game on Saturday afternoon against the Cats.
The Devils will play Washington State on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Arena as the sad season heads down the homestretch.