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Study: ASU-UA is top rivalry in USA, Valley fans show hate toward LA

Left: Geordon Porter of the Arizona State Sun Devils mimics drinking from the Territorial Cup following a victory against the Arizona Wildcats on November 24, 2018. Right: Los Angeles Dodgers players jump in the pool after clinching the National League West against the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 19, 2013. (Getty Images)

A study by professors at Western Carolina have determined America’s greatest rivalry. And it’s not Lakers-Celtics, Giants-Dodgers or Michigan-Ohio State.

Yep, the Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats, who meet once again on the football field Saturday, hate one another more than any other rivals.

Chief reason for that is the two rivals don’t have other rivals.

The study, which drew the attention of the New York Times, asked fans who they considered to be their rivals. They were given 100 points to assign to however many teams they felt warranted mention. For example, Arizona fans on average gave ASU 89.25 rivalry points and the remainder to other teams. Arizona State fans assigned 82.51 points to Arizona, making for a 171.76 total aggregate score between the two schools, the highest among any two teams in college or the pros.

The study’s results for all of Arizona’s squads can be found on KnowRivalry.com.

Here’s quick rundown of what stood out regarding the perceived rivals of Sun Devils, Wildcats, Cardinals, Suns, Diamondbacks and Coyotes fans.

Arizona Cardinals

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It’s a close race for who is the most hated opponent of the Cardinals.

The Seattle Seahawks (34.81 rivalry points) edged the San Francisco 49ers (34) — more confirmation linebacker Cassius Marsh endeared himself to Arizona fans on Day 1 as a member of the Cardinals.

Seattle (47.66) and San Francisco (38.09) have quite a bit of hate for Arizona in return.

By the way, that whole Super Bowl appearance in 2009 still stings a decade later. Cardinals fans still listed the Pittsburgh Steelers as the team’s rival, crediting them with 10.89 rivalry points.

Arizona Coyotes

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

No surprises here: The Coyotes hate the nearby Los Angeles Kings, and their fans assigned 63.14 rivalry points to them in this study.

The Chicago Blackhawks (10.56) and Detroit Red Wings (6.92) are second and third, while the Winnipeg Jets (5.97) and Anaheim Ducks (5.14) also got some mention by Arizona fans as rivals.

Arizona Diamondbacks

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It’s no surprise that Arizona pro baseball supporters aren’t huge fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, those big-spending NL West rivals. The Dodgers fans, however, don’t share the same view.

While Diamondbacks fans believe the guys in blue are the hated enemy, giving them a 61.0 share, Dodgers fans gave Arizona’s MLB club just 3.8 rivalry points. D-backs fans gave another 25.0 rivalry points to the San Francisco Giants.

But who hates Arizona? The Colorado Rockies actually hate Arizona quite a bit, their fanbase having a distaste for the D-backs to the tune of 19.23 rivalry points.

Phoenix Suns

(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Suns fans might be challenged to name their most hated opponent.

The San Antonio Spurs (51.52) and the Los Angeles Lakers (40.30) are atop the Phoenix fanbase’s most hated teams. Oddly, the study found that fans of the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that earned a minuscule 0.64 rivalry points by Suns fans, doled out 10.00 rivalry points to the Suns.

Arizona State Sun Devils

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

After spending a lot of energy on hating the Wildcats, Sun Devils probably look at the football program and feel a strong distaste for the USC Trojans, who got 10.07 rival points. UCLA also earned 4.58 rivalry points.

Arizona Wildcats

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There’s not much more to say about how Wildcats fans feel. UCLA, Oregon and USC barely registered on the hate scale. It’s all about strongly disliking the rivals up the I-10.

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