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Arizona State Sun Devils

Updated Mar 12, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Patterson: ASU needs to win in Vegas to get invited to the dance

Arizona State's Carrick Felix (0) drives against Washington State's Dexter Kernich-Drew during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson believes anyone can win the Pac-12 Tournament.

He also acknowledges that is pretty much the Sun Devils' only option if their goal is to play in a postseason tournament not called the NIT.

"I think for us it's tough to get in the NCAA dance unless we probably win the Pac-12 Tournament," he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf.

The Devils, who enter the Pac-12 Tournament as the nine seed, will square off with Stanford Wednesday afternoon. Should they top the Cardinal, a date with UCLA awaits them Thursday.

It will be a tough road, and one the team is not expected to travel.

Which then begs the question: Assuming the Sun Devils do not get an invitation to the dance, was the 2012-13 season a success?

"I think we've made a lot of progress from a year ago," Patterson said, noting the improvement in win total (10 to 20). "I think you look at the engagement of the fan base, it's dramatically improved.

"I think you look at the play of the team and the way some of the players have come from where they were, how they developed."

Patterson pointed to senior Carrick Felix, terming his improvement as "dramatic," and said he truly believes this season represented a step forward for the program.

And of course, the season is not yet over.

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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