The cover page of ASU’s athletic website insists, in bold letters: PROTECT OUR HOUSE, Jan. 19, 2013.
It is a marketing attempt to sell more tickets to Sun Devil fans than to those from Tucson when the basketball rivals meet at Wells Fargo Arena.
You might not be serious about Sun Devil basketball, but the Sun Devils are. They are 11-2 (OK, sure, who wouldn’t be 11-2 against Coppin State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a group of opponents ranked No. 340 of a possible 347 by basketball’s mighty stat wizard, kenpom.com?
For the first time in three decades, the Sun Devils have one-upped Arizona in matters relating to basketball tradition. After each home victory, two solemn-faced, uniform-wearing ROTC cadets roll a 150-pound Victory Bell onto the court, and the Sun Devil of choice rings the bell.
You can only imagine how much long-suffering Sun Devil hoops fans covet the opportunity to watch cheeky freshman Jahii Carson ring that bell on Jan. 19. Don’t expect Carson to be shy; he has already tweeted that he is the supreme point guard in Pac-12 hoops and, well, that reminds me a lot of the young Gary Payton at Oregon State.
Given that lead-up, we offer in Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star a primer on what to expect in the 2013 Pac-12 basketball season.