Mar 7, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herb Sendek reacts in the second half against the California Golden Bears at Wells-Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils defeated the Golden Bears 74-70. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
With their 74-70 victory over Cal on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale, the Arizona State Sun Devils can now set their sights on postseason play.
ASU closed out the season with a record of 17-14 and an even mark of 9-9 during Pac-12 play. That’s a good record considering all the new players on the roster and how this team started conference play with four straight losses.
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Despite the better second half of their season, the likelihood of the Sun Devils playing in the NCAA Tournament in a couple of weeks is slim to none. Of course, that could change if this basketball team wins the Pac-12 tournament, which gets under way on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
The Devils will open things on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm local time against USC. These two teams only played each other once during the regular season with ASU coming up with a five-point victory at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 22.
If they can get by the Trojans, Herb Sendek’s squad would then face the UCLA Bruins on Thursday at the very same time. A victory over UCLA would set up a likely matchup with Arizona in the semifinals on Friday evening.
A win over their rivals would give ASU the chance to play for the Pac-12 tournament title and a chance to go dancing in March for the second straight season. Things are wide open on the other side of the bracket, but you would have to expect Utah to be the favorite to get to the final.
Is it likely that ASU wins four straight games to shock the world and win this tournament? No, but crazier things have happen.
This team has played much better over the last month. Since February, the Sun Devils are 5-3 with wins over Arizona, the top seed in the tournament, and UCLA, the No. 4 seed.
I wouldn’t be completely shocked if this team made a deep run in this tournament. Then again, I also wouldn’t be completely surprised if they lost on Wednesday.
That’s just the kind of year it has been for this basketball team.