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ASU Preparing for Tough Ten-Day Stretch in Pac-12 Play

The Sun Devils enter another jam-packed portion of conference play as the season begins to come to a close.

At the beginning of February, the Arizona State Sun Devils embraced one of their toughest stretches of games all season, battling ranked opponents such as No. 19 USC, No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Arizona within a five-day span. 

For many ASU fans, it was a measuring stick of where an underperforming Sun Devils squad was at. Arizona State flashed the ability to hang with anybody in the Pac-12 despite going 1-2 in those games, leaving hope that coach Bobby Hurley and company could turn the tide of a down year before it was too late. 

Now, fresh off their first victory in three games, it's time for Arizona State to again show the strides they've made in another tough slate of games.

ASU is set to play five games in ten days, leaving no room for rest or mishaps in their attempt to finish the season strong after beginning the year 8-15. 

Their first two games will come in the comfortable halls of Desert Financial Arena, where the Sun Devils will play host to Oregon (Thursday, Feb. 17) and Oregon State (Saturday, Feb. 19). 

The Sun Devils were able to steal a 69-67 road win in overtime from the Ducks in their first meeting back on Dec. 5, and make no mistake about it, Oregon seeks revenge. The Ducks have won their last five-of-six games heading into their meeting with ASU, scoring 73.2 points per game.

After what looks to be a tough test for Arizona State on Thursday, the Beavers should provide an easier time for ASU on Saturday. Heading into Tuesday's matchup with Colorado, Oregon State has lost their last nine games (four have been postponed in that time), with their last victory coming on Dec. 30. 

Following their weekend, ASU will pack their bags for a three-game road trip that starts with a trip to Pauley Pavilion to battle No. 13 UCLA. The Bruins look to avenge their upset loss to Arizona State on Feb. 5, although UCLA has lost their last three-of-four with upsets to Arizona, ASU and USC. 

The Bruins will have home meetings with Washington and Washington State prior to hosting the Sun Devils on Monday, Feb. 21. 

After what's sure to be a demanding game against the Bruins, Arizona State finishes their road trip with games against Colorado (Thursday, Feb. 24) and Utah (Saturday, Feb. 26). 

The Sun Devils look to return the favor to the Buffaloes after their first meeting went horribly wrong in a dismal 75-57 loss, while their trip to Utah could feature one of their only sweeps in Pac-12 play following a 64-62 win on Jan. 17.

It's an important yet exhausting stretch of games the Sun Devils must be prepared for in order to salvage any respectable seed in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament, as only two games remain (home tilts against Cal and Stanford) before heading to Las Vegas. 

We'll see what the Sun Devils are made of once again.