Arizona State vs. Colorado

Arizona State vs. Colorado | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 3, 2021

Colorado is on the verge of being ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Buffaloes are still in the running for the Pac-12 regular-season title, but they can’t afford a home loss to Arizona State in the late Power 5 game of Thursday night. The Buffs will be solid favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Arizona State at Colorado NCAA Basketball Odds & TV InfoLast Meeting

The schools actually met twice last season but only one in conference play and the Sun Devils were 68-61 home losers to the No. 20 Buffaloes. Colorado finally made a few shots in a row midway through the second half and an 11-0 run pushed its lead to 44-32 with 10:35 left. The Sun Devils pulled within 49-44 with about 7 minutes left but Lucas Siewert responded with his fourth 3-point to stop the rally. ASU shot just 30% from the field in the second half, including 4 of 19 (21%) from 3-point range.

Why Bet on Arizona State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Arizona State (10-6) got a big home win over Stanford on Saturday, 79-75. Josh Christopher hit a 3-pointer and Kimani Lawrence made two free throws to give the Sun Devils a one-point lead with 1:46 to play. Michael O’Connell made a short jumper on the other end 29 seconds later, but Lawrence was fouled as he made a layup and converted the three-point play before Alonzo Verge Jr. hit two free throws to cap the scoring as ASU closed on a 10-2 run.

Arizona State made 29 of 58 from the field and scored 29 points off 20 Stanford turnovers. Stanford made 31 of 34 from the free-throw line but hit just 2 of 15 (13%) from 3-point range. The Sun Devils have won back-to-back games following a six-game losing streak.

ASU was led by Remy Martin (23 points) who was 9-of-15 from the floor and dished out six assists and added four steals. ASU shot 50 percent for the second straight game (28-of-56 vs. California), as it is now 34-2 (.944) when it shoots 50 percent under Coach Bobby Hurley. Christopher added 15 points and is now 12-of-25 (.480) from three-point stripe in the past six games. Christopher, the sixth-best freshman scorer in the nation, is the only Sun Devil to start in every game and is averaging 15.3 ppg

Verge Jr. came off the bench scoring 12 points and added four assists. Marcus Bagley and Jalen Graham also added a dozen points each. The Sun Devils’ defensive performance was equally as impressive, forcing 20 turnovers and 12 steals, led by Martin’s four, as ASU scored 29 points off of turnovers.

“We knew that they were thin based on not having those players available for the game that would’ve helped them in that department, but it’s what we do anyway,” noted Hurley. “We just wanted to stick with that plan, and I thought it got us going in the first half, we had 13 of those in the first half and it transitioned us into some offense so I was very happy with our performance on that end of the floor,”

Why Bet on Colorado? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Buffs (13-5) were upset 77-74 at home by Utah on Saturday. Reserve guard Alfonso Plummer scored 23 points — 21 in the final 7:49 — and Utah rallied to stun UC. Plummer did all his damage late, burying four 3-pointers in the last 7:49. His four-point play with 3:24 left gave the Utes a 70-69 lead and they never trailed again. Pelle Larsson blocked Wright’s 3 attempt as time expired.

The Buffs had a seven-point lead at the half, 43-36, and appeared to be in complete control when they extended the cushion to 19, 65-46, with just under nine minutes to play. But the Utes then put together a 26-4 run. Utah shot 52% from the floor in the second half (16-for-31) while the Buffs were just 13-for-30. CU also lost the rebound battle, 31-30, and the Utes were 16-for-19 from the free throw line while the Buffs attempted just six free throws and made five.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever been more disappointed in a loss in my career,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “To have a game in hand like that and not finish it … It’s not like we didn’t talk about the way they could get back in the game. At some point you have to stop talking about things and you have to do them.”

McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 15 points and Jeriah Horne chipped in 10 for the Buffs. Colorado had a season-high 13 3-point field goals (13 of 28) and have made 29 of 59 over the last three games (.492). The 13 3-pointers were the Buffaloes’ most since hitting 17 vs. Iona on Dec. 29, 2019 and the most against a conference opponent since hitting 13 at UCLA on Feb. 6, 2019.

Colorado had season-lows in free throws made and attempted (5 of 6). It was the first game the Buffaloes hadn’t made at least 10. The five free throws were the Buffs’ fewest since going 5 of 6 vs USC on Feb. 20, 2020. Colorado dropped its first home game of the season (6-1) falling to 34-6 at the CU Events Center over the last 40 games.

Expert Prediction
  • Colorado 79, Arizona State 68

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