It's been a long strange journey for Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies over the past two weeks. An undefeated conference mark has given way to consecutive losses to Utah, Oregon State, Oregon, and Arizona. The Dawgs host the Arizona State Sun Devils at Alaska Airlines Arena tonight, hoping to pull out of the dive.
The Devils are 17-4 overall, with a 6-2 Pac-12 mark. Tied with their rivals from Tucson and one game behind league-leading Oregon. they hope to capitalize on Washington's woes and get a road conference win that will look attractive to the NCAA selection committee. The Sun Devils are having their best season since 1980-81 when they were 19-2 through 21 games.
In a Pac-12 season that seems to have talented freshman guards everywhere you turn, Arizona State offers more of the same. The Devils are paced in scoring by 5' 10" freshman Jahii Carson, who is averaging 17.6 points per game and is coming off of a 25 point night against Washington State at Pullman.
Carson is joined by veteran backcourt mates Carrick Felix and Evan Gordon, along with 7' 2" center Jordan Bachynski, in double figure scoring over the course of the season. Jonathon Gilling comes off the bench to add rebounding bulk. Bachynski and Gilling combine for 14+ rebounds a game.
Washington (12-9, 4-4) will throw a slew of guards at the Devils in an effort to disrupt their flow. C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, Abdul Gaddy, and Andrew Andrews pace the Huskies who need to get more efficient with the ball and shoot a higher percentage from the field. Aziz N'Diaye is UW's only consistent rebounder and must out-board Bachynski if the Huskies hope to get back to their winning ways.
Las Vegas lists Washington as a five point favorite. Vegas hasn't been watching. Take the Devils and the points and roll your winnings into a wager about whether or not Beyonce shows cleavage during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:07 p.m. P.S.T. tip and will be carried on ESPNU with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham on the call. Locally, the game will be broadcast over the radio by IMG College Sports Network and KJR Sportsradio 950 AM and 102.9 FM with Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton calling the action