I got the text late Friday night, offering tickets to the ASU v Arizona basketball game. This sounded better than a Daz Band concert at the ancient Activity Center. The building hasn’t been upgraded in fifty years, but the quality of basketball under Bobby Hurley has been pretty good here in 2022. A group of junkyard dogs getting after it versus the fifth-ranked team in the nation sounded like an excellent way to close out the year.
As I went through the ticket scanner, the usher asked if a Three Dot Thoughts column was coming since I wasn’t carrying a laptop or dressed professionally. “Yep”…
The problem is the Sun Devils couldn’t shoot straight in the first half, while Arizona looked every bit the part of one of the top college basketball programs in the nation. At halftime, Arizona led by 17, and if not for the hustle of freshman Duke Brennan, they could’ve been down by 25 at the break.
I went up to walk the concourse at halftime, but the north side was a parking lot. Fans in the food and drink line weren’t moving, and some who were wearing maroon and gold didn’t sound in the most festive of moods. While the “U of A” chants were loud and proud.
Arizona State’s nickname for the day should’ve been changed to “glass breakers” or “paint chippers.” Bobby Hurley’s squad made just 3 of 27 three-point shots and lost by 9. Arizona’s big men are so good, but the Sun Devils held them to just 24 points in the paint. Arizona was 24-28 from the free throw line, while the Sun Devils had only nine turnovers.
What does it all mean? Actually, I came away thinking that when these two teams get together on the final Saturday of February in Tucson, I’ll be interested to see the improvement. Lot of basketball to be played in the next two months. Both teams should be playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Sometimes it’s good not to carry a laptop into a game and experience the before, during, and after from a fan’s point of view…