Coming into this season, Villanova coach Jay Wright wondered who might replace Saddiq Bey as the Wildcats' go-to player. After two games, Wright thinks Jeremiah Robinson-Earl may have answered that question for him. Robinson-Earl followed up an 18-point performance in the season opener with a career-high 28 points on Thursday night to lead No. 3 Villanova over No. 18 Arizona State 83-74 in the championship game of the Empire Classic.
Remy Martin eclipsed 20 points for the 26th time in his Arizona State career Friday night and his team needed virtually every one of them to avoid an upset. Martin scored 26 points and freshman Marcus Bagley made three key free throws in the final minute to lead No. 18 Arizona State to a 94-88 win over Rhode Island in the Empire Classic on Wednesday night. Chris Osten's three-point play with 2:59 left gave the Sun Devils the lead for good at 89-86.
No. 2 Baylor returns the bulk of a team that was poised for a Final Four run last season before the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No. 18 Arizona State has what appears to be its best group in its sixth season under coach Bobby Hurley -- one good enough to win a Pac-12 title for the first time since joining the league for the 1978-79 season. "We have a lot of people coming back, and we get another swing at this," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.