Arizona State Basketball: 2019-20 keys to beat Oregon in battle for 1st

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Arizona State Basketball

TUCSON, ARIZONA – JANUARY 04: Jalen Graham #24 high fives teammate Mickey Mitchell #00 of the Arizona State Sun Devils (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Arizona State Basketball has been on the rise in the PAC-12 for the last month and now they have a chance to put themselves in 1st place in the conference.

Arizona State Basketball has been absolutely on fire lately, winning five games in a row and seven of their last eight. Most recently, they’ve been a nightmare for the PAC-12’s California schools, winning home games against UCLA and USC before going on the road and knocking off Stanford and Cal. Their impressive run has ASU right back in the NCAA tournament picture after a 1-3 start to the PAC-12 season seemed to have ended their tournament hopes.

Now they can move into one of the top-two spots in the conference on Thursday (which spot will depend on the results of Colorado and Arizona’s games). The Sun Devils also have a chance to move firmly off the tournament bubble and comfortably into the field of 64.

To accomplish all of this, they’ll need to beat an Oregon team that beat them earlier this year, but has struggled on the road. Oregon recently avenged a loss of their own to mov into a tie for 1st when they beat Colorado last Thursday. They have since added a dominant win over Utah on Sunday and moved back up to 14th in the AP poll. Those two wins helped them bounce back from a tough road trip where they lost consecutive games to Stanford and Oregon State and began to tumble in the rankings. They’ll need to overcome those road demons in order to keep their place at the top of the PAC-12.

Thursday night’s game on ESPN features two of the best teams in the PAC-12 battling for their place in the crowded top half of the conference standing and is not a game and is the marquee matchup from the late games. Here are ASU’s keys to beat Oregon in Tempe and move one step closer to their 3rd consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

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