ASU basketball’s upset of top-ranked Kansas graced the holiday spirits, but frustrating results across the league spoiled further celebration.
If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. There’s Arizona State, and then there’s everybody else in the Pac-12.
The Sun Devils’ victory over No. 1 Kansas marked the program’s first victory over the nation’s top team since March 7, 1981. But in a more recent scope, it was the win the Pac-12 needed to stay afloat.
Earlier in the week, ASU suffered a 16-point drubbing against Vanderbilt. The Commodores are a Quadrant 1 opponent, but the threat of the Pac-12’s best team leaving relevancy existed in the wide margin.
Luckily, the Sun Devils bounced back, using a 13-2 run in the final 4:17 to upend the Jayhawks and improve to 9-2. A 15-point, four-rebound effort from Rob Edwards earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, becoming the fourth different ASU player to receive the award in five weeks.
After that, there wasn’t much to commemorate. Arizona almost lost to 3-7 UC Davis – at McKale Center. Oregon State was upended at home by Kent State. And in a further detriment to Steve Alford‘s job security, UCLA was obliterated in its two best games before league play.
The New Year is approaching, giving every team a chance to start fresh. Aside from the Sun Devils, everyone needs it.
Here’s a look at our final Pac-12 Power Rankings from 2018.