Two teams coming off humbling losses will square off on Saturday when visiting Utah and Arizona State meet in Tempe, Ariz.
Utah (17-10, 10-6 Pac-12) is in fourth place in the conference standings, while Arizona State (18-9, 9-7) is tied with Oregon for fifth place.
The top four teams earn a bye from the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. The Utes and Sun Devils have four games remaining.
Utah dropped an 88-62 decision to No. 8 Arizona on Thursday, and Arizona State fell 67-59 to visiting Colorado.
The Utes, playing without second-leading scorer Gabe Madsen (lower leg injury), shot 32.2 percent from the field against Arizona.
The Utes’ defense allowed the Wildcats to shoot 56.9 percent from the field on Thursday night.
Arizona’s bench also outscored Utah’s reserves by a 30-15 margin.
“It was just kinda one of those nights,” Utah coach Craig Smith said. “Our guys competed really hard. I am proud of our effort. But obviously we got to execute better to beat a team like this.”
Branden Carlson led the Utes with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field.
Arizona State went cold in the last 5:56 of its loss to Colorado by scoring only three points.
“I personally feel like we could have definitely taken better shots but I’m not the coach and I’m also not the guard,” Arizona State center Warren Washington said in his first game back after missing the previous two because of COVID-19 protocol.
“So, I don’t see it from their perspective. So, I can’t really speak for them.”
The Sun Devils have lost six of their last nine games, including four of their last five games at home.
DJ Horne led Arizona State with 15 points off five 3-pointers against Colorado. It was the second time this season that he has converted five times from beyond the arc.
Horne is one of seven seniors who will play the last home game of their careers at Arizona State on Saturday.
That includes Washington and the Cambridge brothers — Desmond Jr. and Devan.
Desmond Cambridge leads the Sun Devils with 13.6 points per game.
–Field Level Media