Busting Brackets

Cal vs. Arizona State: College basketball preview, prediction, TV schedule

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 17: Holder /

The Arizona State Sun Devils look to shake their poor Pac-12 start against one of the league’s rebuilding teams.

TV Schedule: Saturday, January 20, 10:30 p.m. ET, PAC12

Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, California

Arizona State emerged on the scene as one of the best teams in all of college basketball over the first six weeks of the season. Tough times have pushed the Sun Devils towards the bottom of the Pac-12, though.

Through six conference games, Arizona State has just two victories. Both were against conference bottom-feeders, and both were by just a single possession. Losses against Colorado, Oregon, and Stanford have dulled the Sun Devils’ shine.

Despite the sudden struggles, Arizona State still has some of the best players in the conference. Tra Holder averages 19.3 points per game, while Shannon Evans II averages 17.1 points per game. Holder hasn’t eclipsed double-digit points in consecutive games for the first time this season, so the Sun Devils’ main goal on Saturday should be to get their star guard going.

The Cal Golden Bears, on the other hand, just want to avoid another embarrassment. Since defeating Stanford in their conference opener, Cal hasn’t won a game. All five of those losses have come by at least ten points, with four of them coming by at least 18.

This season is all about future development in Berkeley. There are signs of progress – two of the top three scorers are freshmen while leading scorer Don Coleman is a junior. They’ve locked in four-star recruits Jacobi Gordon and Matt Bradley for next season.

Coach Wyking Jones will get Cal headed in the right direction next year.

For now, they’re stuck in the role of pinata for the rest of the Pac-12. There might not be another win on their schedule outside a home date with Washington State and the Cougars have already thrashed Cal by 25 points. At least the women’s team is ranked.

Next: Return Final Four trip? Good luck

Arizona State should get their house in order on Saturday night and reclaim their season’s narrative.

Prediction: Arizona State 81, Cal 60