Monday, February 11, 2013
Tourney chances fading for Arizona State?
By Joe Kaiser
A loss to a red-hot Stanford team may not seem like a bad one, but considering how much every game matters at this point for Arizona State it was a defeat on Saturday that the Sun Devils could ill-afford. How does it affect their NCAA tournament chances, which looked pretty bright not so long ago? Lets take a look.
Stanford limited the Sun Devils to 34.4 percent shooting, leading to ASU's critical 3-point loss on its home court in Tempe, and as a result Herb Sendek's team moved into Joe Lunardi's dreaded "first four out" as of yesterday. If there's a positive to come of this, though, it's that the Sun Devils are currently listed as the first team out, with the other three being Villanova, Virginia and Maryland. So it's certainly not too late for them to climb back onto steadier ground for the NCAA tourney.
What ASU will have to do for the rest of the regular season is getting more production out of 7-foot-2 junior Jordan Bachynski, whose production has slowed considerably over the last two weeks, and find a way to win two of three tough remaining road games against the likes of Arizona, UCLA and Colorado.
They have a potential Pac-12 Player of the Year in freshman Jahii Carson to help them do it, and doing so would give the Sun Devils a chance to win the regular season conference title. Even if they come up with a couple of those big road wins and don't win the Pac-12, though, they'll be a tough one for the selection committee to overlook on Selection Sunday.