Bubble Watch: Arizona State Needs to Advance Past UCLA in Pac-12 Quarterfinals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Arizona State freshman gaurd Jahii Carson scored 34 points on Wednesday afternoon, cementing the Sun Devils’ opening round win over Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament.

With the win, Arizona State now moves forward into the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament. However, the Sun Devils probably need another win if they hope to qualify and hear their name called onSelection Sunday.

Well, take it as you will, but Arizona State will square up against UCLAon Thursday afternoon, facing yet another must-win situation. The Bruins are the Pac-12 regular season champions and the top seed within the conference tournament. So, albeit a tough quarterfinal round draw for Arizona State, it’s also a situation in which the Sun Devils can get a top notch win if they bring their A-game.

Carson needs to be the focal point again for Herb Sendek‘s squad and although you cannot expect another 34-point performance from him, he still needs to score the basketball if the Sun Devils have any chance to win.

Both Arizona State and UCLA split their regular season series with each team winning on their respected home courts. The Sun Devils should have enough confidence in this one, having dismantled the Bruins by 18 points the first time these two teams faced. UCLA did respond by taking the second contest by at Pauley Pavilion, but the Bruins needed overtime to get that victory.

Everything aside, UCLA should be upset alert on Thursday afternoon. Arizona State needs a win and will look to bring it against the Bruins.

UCLA however, is on a quest for a regular season and tournament championship sweep. The Bruins can put a potential end to the Sun Devils’ chance of making the NCAA Tournament by eliminating them on Thursday.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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