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ASU enters finale at Arizona squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble

Arizona State's Zylan Cheatham (45) celebrates as teammates rush the court following Arizona State's victory over Oregon State at an NCAA college basketball game in Corvallis, Ore., Sunday, March 3, 2019. Arizona State won 74-71. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

Sparky is still playing with fire.

Arizona State just hopes it won’t enter the Pac-12 Tournament by tossing a gas canister into a bonfire. The Sun Devils have a Saturday road game in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats left to play this regular season and at 20-9 enter that finale squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

As it stands, ASU is 68th in NET rating — it’s just one of several metrics the selection committee will consider. How much that number weighs on the committee’s decision remains to be seen considering it’s the first year that statistic has been utilized since replacing the antiquated RPI metric.

Other measurements cast a more positive outlook on Bobby Hurley’s team. ASU is 63rd in BPI, 63rd in KenPom and 55th in Sagarin heading into a game against its rival.

Beating the Wildcats on the road, of course, would give ASU a larger buffer heading into the conference tournament in Las Vegas, where Arizona State earned a bye with a win over Oregon State on Sunday.

The Sun Devils hurt their ratings across the board with a 79-51 loss to the Oregon Ducks on Thursday that preceded the 74-71 victory over the Beavers.

To take a deeper dive into the team’s chances to earn an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, here is a peek at a few key statistics via BracketMatrix.com, which tracks brackets across the web, and the NCAA’s official team sheets.

Arizona State NCAA Tournament résumé

Overall record: 20-9

# of brackets included in BracketMatrix.com brackets (out of 96): 70

BracketMatrix.com composite seeding (average seeding): 12 (11.36)

Highest seed: 6

NET Ranking: 68th

Strength of Schedule: 73rd

Quadrant 1 record: 3-3

Quadrant 2: 7-2

Quadrant 3: 3-2

Quadrant 4: 7-2

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