Tonight, at 9 pm, the ASU Men’s Basketball team travels to Colorado to play the Buffaloes. It’s an important game for both teams. ASU is trying to take another step towards “clinching” a dance card for the NCAA tournament. A win in Boulder could do it. Meanwhile, CU is essentially in the same position the Sun Devils were in a week ago–trying to hold on to hopes of making the NCAA tournament.
This mutual hunger should make for a good matchup.
Two issues loom for ASU. First, they must avoid the “hangover” that typically comes after a huge win. The Sun Devil players must make last Friday’s upset win over Arizona a pleasant memory and nothing more. Colorado is a different team with different tendencies. Secondly, in case anyone has forgotten, Colorado is a pretty good team, especially at home. They rarely lose in Boulder.
Even without their star player, Spencer Dinwiddie, the Buffs have won 5 of their last six and are playing with extreme confidence right now.
For ASU, the task of staying focused and playing aggressive basketball falls on the team leaders, specifically Jahii Carson. Yes, it is imperative that Bachynski and Marshall have good games. But by and large, the tempo and intensity level of this team is initiated by Carson. The last time these two played, Colorado had a hard time containing Carson.
ASU fans will probably remember that the ASU turnaround this season started with the previous Colorado game. That was the game that coach Herb Sendek began starting Eric Jacobsen for Jonathan Gilling. In that game, the defense was very active. athletic and intense. ASU will have to bring that again, especially against a hostile crowd.
This is ASU’s chance to truly separate themselves. ASU fans should tune in to see if their Sun Devils have turned the corner in this competitive conference.