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Hurley believes ASU is in NCAA Tournament despite loss to Colorado

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley questions a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado in the first round of the Pac-12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Las Vegas. Colorado defeated Arizona State 97-85. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

With a win over Colorado Wednesday in the Pac-12 Tournament, Arizona State could ease some concern regarding its chances of missing out on the NCAA Tournament.

Despite the potential significance of the game, the Sun Devils had one of its worst performances of the season in a 97-85 loss to the Buffaloes.

According to their head coach after the game, though, there wasn’t any concern before tip-off.

“I felt like we were in the tournament coming into this game regardless of the outcome,” Bobby Hurley said. “We were the last undefeated team in college basketball. We went and played high-level opponents on the road and on neutrals.”

That very well could be true, but now the Sun Devils do not control their destiny.

Instead of winning one game or even beating rival No. 15 Arizona in the next round, now the team will have no one to blame if other bubble teams make deep runs in conference tournaments.

Per ESPN Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology Wednesday morning, the last four teams out were Alabama, Syracuse, Marquette and Oklahoma State.

While they are tough opponents, those teams will have a chance to seriously bolster their resume. As a few examples, Syracuse plays against No. 12 North Carolina Wednesday night, Oklahoma State gets Oklahoma and Alabama plays Texas A&M Thursday afternoon.

Lunardi does not have the Sun Devils listed under “Last Four In” or “Last Four Byes” but that could change in a hurry with how much basketball there is left to be played, especially in the Pac-12.

Both listed as “Last Four In” teams, USC and UCLA could further their case as a Pac-12 team making the dance, which could, in turn, hurt ASU. Both teams play Thursday, as the Bruins take on the winner of Cal and Stanford while the Trojans get the victor between Oregon State and Washington.

However the next couple of days unfold as conference tournaments continue, the one certainty is that ASU has played their last game prior to Selection Sunday.

According to Hurley, his team’s case is good enough, but it’s a case that is now complete, for better or for worse.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.