The history of ASU basketball vs. No. 1 teams

Saturday's win over No. 1 Kansas flips the script in the history of Sun Devil basketball

For the first time in school history, ASU knocked off the nation's No. 1 team in Tempe on Saturday.

The Kansas Jayhawks, one of the true blue-blood programs in college basketball, came into Wells Fargo Arena and surrendered an 80-76 loss at the hands of the Sun Devils.

Just over twelve months after ASU's victory over KU in Lawrence, No. 18 ASU once again showed why it is becoming a program to be reckoned with under coach Bobby Hurley

Prior to Saturday, ASU was 1-8 against No. 1 teams in the school's history.

The Sun Devils' lone victory against a No. 1 ranked opponent came in 1981 against Oregon State in Corvallis when ASU was ranked No. 5. 

Almost 40 years later, the Sun Devils did it again, this time in their own building, and Dec. 22, 2018 will forever live in Tempe lore. 

Here's a look back at Sun Devil men's basketball's past history vs. No. 1's: 

No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 16 ASU - Mar. 15, 1973 (98-81 UCLA)

In the midst of UCLA's dynasty in college basketball under legendary coach John Wooden, the Bruins knocked the Sun Devils out of the NCAA Tournament in the West Regional Semifinal in March 1973. The team then cruised to its seventh consecutive national championship and ninth in 10 years.

No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 7 ASU - Mar. 22, 1975 (89-75 UCLA)

During Coach Wooden's final championship run with UCLA, the Bruins once again defeated the Sun Devils in the NCAA Tournament, this time in the West Regional Final. 

 No. 5 ASU vs. No. 1 Oregon State - Mar. 7, 1981 (87-67 ASU)

After losing to Oregon State in the regular season, ASU earned a 20-point victory against the Beavers in the regular season finale for its first win over a No. 1 team in program history.

No. 1 UA vs. ASU - Jan. 28, 1988 (99-59 UA)

The unranked Sun Devils suffered its largest margin of defeat to a No. 1 team at the hands of the UA Wildcats, 99-59.

No. 1 Stanford vs. ASU - Jan. 6, 2000 (86-67 Stanford)

The 1999-2000 Sun Devils dropped a regular season contest to No. 1 Stanford in Palo Alto, 86-67. 

No. 1 Stanford vs. ASU - Mar. 8, 2001 (99-75 Stanford)

The following season, the Sun Devils once again fell on the road to the Cardinal.

No. 1 UA vs. ASU - Jan. 22, 2003 (71-63 UA)

Before Saturday's meeting with KU, ASU's closest game with a No. 1 team came on the road against UA in 2003 when the unranked Sun Devils were narrowly defeated by the Wildcats in an 8-point affair.

No. 1 UA vs. ASU - Feb. 22, 2003 (92-72 UA)

Exactly one month later, ASU faced a No. 1 ranked team at home for the first time in its history. However, the Sun Devils fell once again to the Wildcats, 92-72. 

ASU vs. No. 1 UA - Jan. 16, 2014 (91-68 UA)

In 2014, UA once again faced ASU as the No. 1 team in the country, and took care of business, knocking off the Sun Devils by 23 points.

No. 18 ASU vs. No.1 KU - Dec. 22, 2019 (80-76 ASU)

For the first time at home, the Sun Devils took down a No. 1 team. Trailing the Jayhawks for the majority of the game, ASU took the lead in the last two minutes of the game.



Reach the reporter at kmgianco@asu.edu and follow @Kaleb_Mart on Twitter.

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