The Sun Devils and Wildcats didn’t like one another any more in 1955 or 1965 than they do today, perhaps less, if that’s possible.
Picture this scene: three days before they were to complete the ’65 basketball season with a game at Bear Down Gym, the Wildcats and Sun Devils were unwittingly booked on the same flight from Salt Lake City to Phoenix.
“That plane got awfully small in a hurry,” UA coach Bruce Larson told me. “There wasn’t any chit-chat.”
You might say there was some bad blood: the Sun Devils were working on a 15-game winning streak against Arizona.
The Sun Devils of the early ‘60s were a glamour program, having gone 23-6, 23-4 and 26-3 in successive seasons. Arizona hadn’t had a winning season since 1951.
But because it was a rivalry of such depth, the game sold out in advance which enabled TV stations in Phoenix and Tucson to pool a $3,800 in right’s fees to broadcast the game live.
It would be the first time Arizona was favored to beat ASU since 1957.
Oh, how times have changed.
Read more about the Territorial Cup rivalry in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.