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Good news for ASU: ‘We look at entire body of work,’ NCAA chair says

Arizona State guard Remy Martin (1) reacts after defeating Vanderbilt 76-64 during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec 17, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz — Bruce Rasmussen, the chair of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee, addressed a question Wednesday that was on the minds of many Arizona State basketball fans: How much does the committee pay attention to how a team starts vs. how a team finishes?

“We look at every game as important as every other game,” said Rasmussen, who is also director of athletics at Creighton. “So it doesn’t make any difference with what time of the year you played those games. They’re all looked at with the same degree of importance.

“We look at the entire body of work and we certainly will recognize the quality of play in November, December in addition to what happens in January and February.”

Rasmussen was on a teleconference with members of the media to discuss an array of topics involving the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off March 13.

His comments on a team’s schedule matters to ASU fans as their men’s basketball team has struggled recently, going 5-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after starting its season off white hot and being the last undefeated team in the nation. That run in November and December when ASU beat No. 2 Kansas on the road and No.15 Xavier is still significant. The Sun Devils’ later struggles, though, will surely impact their seeding.

The committee is preparing for selection week, as well as a mock selection, seeding and bracketing process. On Sunday, it plans to do what it did last year: Reveal the top 16 teams in the bracket review show on CBS. Though ASU most likely doesn’t see itself in that situation, 32 days and seven games remain for it to change the committee’s mind.

“The fact remains that there are 32 days left in the season counting the conference tournament,” Rasmussen said.

“Over the next month, more than 1,300 games will be played before the bracket is revealed. All of them impact the season whether it’s to improve as a team, enhance a resume or help with seeding of a conference tournament.

“All these games matter and there are lots still to be played. What we unveil on Sunday could dramatically change or like last year, it might not change much at all.”

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