After all is said and done in the regular college basketball season (that would be next weekend) and the Pac-10 conference tournament, the ASU Sun Devils and the Washington Huskies will find themselves playing somewhere in the Big Dance.
But all that seems so far away at the moment.
At hand, in just a few hours (9 p.m. on KSAZ, Channel 34), the Devils and the Huskies will do battle up in Seattle for first place in the hotly contested league.
The teams are tied for the lead with four games to go, one game ahead of Cal and UCLA. ASU reached this lofty perch by virtue of monumental season sweeps over both Arizona and UCLA.
Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar, seen in the Afro-heavy, back-to-the-future photo to the left, has been nothing but effusive in his praise for ASU's tenacious defense and for its superstar player James Harden.
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But the Huskies are very tough to beat at home, and have a host of offensive weapons from which to choose, including rugged center Jon Brockman (seems like he's been there for a decade) and diminutive tough-guy guard Isaiah Thomas.
This promises to be a good one.
If ASU can keep Washington under 70 points, they'll have a great chance to win.
If not, well, Saturday's game in Pullman against Washington State will be the proverbial "must win" for ASU to have a legitimate chance to win the regular-season championship.