Superlatives heading into Nevada's Top 25 matchup with Arizona State

Cody Martin
Cody Martin and the Wolf Pack take on No. 20 Arizona State on Friday. (Nick Beaton/Nevada athletics)

When No. 6 Nevada plays No. 20 Arizona State on Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, a lot of rarities will take place, especially if the Wolf Pack snares a victory. Here is a look at some of the superlatives entering Friday's showdown, which tips at 9 p.m. Pacific time on ESPN2.

Nevada's wins vs. ranked teams

Of note: Since moving to Division I in 1969, the Wolf Pack is 9-53 against AP Top 25 foes, the last coming in March when Nevada upset No. 6 Cincinnati to reach the Sweet 16. It's rare for Nevada to beat a Top 25 team. For example, it happened only twice in the Nick Fazekas era, both in the 2003-04 Sweet 16 season. Nevada has exactly two wins over ranked teams in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. So, yeah, beating a Top 25 team hasn't happened very often at Nevada.

* vs. No. 6 Cincinnati, 75-73, March 18, 2017

* vs. No. 3 Gonzaga, 91-72, March 20, 2004

* vs. No. 6 Kansas, 75-61, Dec. 21, 2003

* vs. No. 19 New Mexico State, 74-67, Jan. 21, 1995

* vs. No. 23 New Mexico State, 77-68, Feb. 3, 1994

* vs. No. 11 UNLV, 97-89, Nov. 23, 1984

* at No. 15 UNLV, 86-76, Dec. 10, 1981

* vs. No. 14 Georgetown, 87-77, Dec. 21, 1978

* vs. No. 19 San Francisco, 82-80, Jan. 5, 1978

Top 25 Nevada vs. a Top 25 opponent

Of note: Nevada has played four ranked opponents while ranked itself and is 1-3 in those games, the win against Cincinnati last season being the one victory. Friday's game against Arizona State will mark the first time the Wolf Pack will be the better ranked team in these Top 25 vs. Top 25 showdowns. This also will be just the third time a ranked Nevada team played a Top 25 team in the regular season. Oddly, all five of these matchups will have come on neutral sites (two in the NCAA Tournament and three in regular-season showcase games).

* No. 24 Nevada vs. No. 6 Cincinnati, 75-73 (W), March 18, 2017

* No. 22 Nevada vs. No. 20 TCU, 84-80 (L), Dec. 8, 2017

* No. 15 Nevada vs. No. 5 Memphis, 78-62 (L), March 18, 2007

* No. 17 Nevada vs. No. 16 UCLA, 67-56 (L), Dec. 10, 2005

Battle of the undefeated teams

There are only 11 unbeaten teams in the NCAA, with Nevada (8-0) and Arizona State (7-0) taking two of those positions. It's the latest an undefeated Wolf Pack has played another undefeated team in school history. Nevada's 8-0 record ties its best start to a season in its Division I era (it also went 8-0 last season). The Wolf Pack's best start ever is 14-0 in 1951-52. Meanwhile, Arizona State has won 20 straight non-conference games dating to the 2016-17 season. That's the longest streak of any team in the nation, with Michigan and Texas Tech tied for second with 13. Both of these teams have started 7-0 in each of the last two seasons.

Nevada in an NBA arena

The Wolf Pack will play in the Staples Center, home to the NBA's Lakers and (to a lesser degree) Clippers, for the second straight season (Nevada lost to TCU in the arena last year). It's a rare appearance in an NBA arena for the Wolf Pack, which has played in four NBA arenas (two which are now closed), three NFL stadiums and five NHL arenas in its history. The pro venues Nevada has played in include:


* Staples Center (Los Angeles)

* Key Arena (Seattle)

* Phillips Arena (Atlanta)

* BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee)


* RCA Dome (Indianapolis)

* Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis)

* New Orleans Arena (New Orleans)


* Bridgestone Arena (Nashville)

* HP Pavilion (San Jose)

* Honda Center (Anaheim)

* Staples Center (Los Angeles)

* Phillips Arena (Atlanta)

The Wolf Pack will play in a fifth NBA arena Sunday when it plays Grand Canyon in Talking Stick Resort Arena, the home of the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

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