Arizona State Sun Devils vs California Golden Bears - NCAA Basketball

Arizona State Sun Devils

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 1, 2017 7:00 PM GMT

It will take time for head coach Bobby Hurley to get his Arizona State Sun Devils into the top 25, but the team has been responding to Coach Hurley in their last 2 games with 2 consecutive 98 point efforts, thus elevating the Sun Devils over the .500 mark. ASU comes into tonight's game against another tough Pac-12 squad in the California Golden Bears. Can ASU pull off the early season upset?

Arizona State Sun Devils (8-6) vs California Golden Bears (9-4)

 

 

A Well Coached ASU Squad

I mention Coach Hurley as he's a 2 time National Champion as a player and is the all time leader in assists in the history of NCAA Basketball. He comes from a coaching family and it's only a matter of time before he turn's Arizona State into a top contender. For now, ASU is a slightly above average squad in a very competitive conference. On most occasions, they will be the underdog or in this case, the double digit underdog. The opportunity is there for ASU to pull off the upset or at least cover such a large spread.

Torian Graham

Arizona State is also coming off of a very big victory over a Stanford Cardinal team that was at home and possessed an 8-4 record. Arizona State, led by senior Torian Graham's 30 points on 5 of 8 from 3 point range, propelled the Sun Devils to a 98-93 victory.

Graham, who averages 18.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, has really taken his game to another level.. In his last 3 games, Graham is averaging 26.6 points and 7 rebounds while converting on 11 3-pointers in his last 2 games. California's main objective is to win the game, but in order to do that, they must contain Torian Graham and that doesn't appear likely.

Defense Is the Key To Victory

Where the Golden Bears are concerned, they've had a very tough schedule, losing their last 2 games to Arizona and Virginia, who both reside in the AP Top 25. The Golden Bears blew a huge opportunity as they gave away a 13 point lead to Arizona and that still has to be stinging as they enter this game. This is a team that's not going to score a ton of points, but possesses an outstanding defense. California has held 12 out of their 13 opponents to under 70 points this season.

While freshman and leading scorer, Charlie Bird has tailed off a bit as of late, sophomore Ivan Raab has really stepped up his game, averaging 14.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in his last 3 games. Raab has had back to back efforts of 16 and 12 rebounds against two high level oppoennts and ASU will have their hands full in dealing with him.

The spread is a bit high and ASU is the NCAAB pick here.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Sun Devils +11.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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