NCAA Basketball Arizona State Sun DevilsPac 12 Basketball

Bubble Watch: Arizona State Sun Devils Likely Needs At Least Two Wins in Pac-12 Tournament

Casey Sapio-USA Today Sports

Put the records and numbers aside for a moment when glancing at Arizona State.

The Sun Devils are a bubble team heading into the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, but just that in a nutshell presents a situation in which Arizona State has exceeded expectations this year.

The pressure to win and win now for head coachHerb Sendek was through the roof heading into the 2012-13 season. The Sun Devils have done that to an extent this year, but now let’s peer into the numbers.

Arizona State has won 20 games this season and finished the regular season with a 9-9 record within the Pac-12 Conference. Thanks in large to the production of both Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix, the Sun Devils are currently situated in a position where they must win and make a run this week if they hope to qualify for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. However, at least they have an opportunity.

On Wednesday afternoon, Arizona State will square off against Stanford with the winner earning the right to play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinal round. At first glance, the expectations are clear. The Sun Devils can’t just rely on beating Stanford and thinking that their resume is clear cut and good enough to qualify. If the beat the Cardinal, it still doesn’t help, considering everything is about one’s body of work.

Therefore, Arizona State is in a position where they probably need to upset UCLA, as well. If the Sun Devils can find themselves playing on Friday in the Pac-12 semifinals, well then you have something to work with. If not, the Sun Devils are likely to find themselves headed to the NIT.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS