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Sun Devils fall in OT to Oregon, await NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday

Oregon's Kenny Wooten (14) tries to steal the ball from Arizona State's Zylan Cheatham during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Pac-12 men's tournament Friday, March 15, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The Arizona State Sun Devils are gonna have a nervewracking Sunday.

While the assumption is the Sun Devils will earn an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, they will have to wait for Selection Sunday to find out if what the bracket experts say is true after a 79-75 overtime loss to Oregon.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Bobby Hurley’s team considering the circumstances.

Down 35-28 after a first half that Hurley told the TV broadcast he felt fortunate they were only down seven, his squad opened with a fire-breathing 18-3 run to start the second half.

Absolutely locking up defensively while executing on offense, they led 46-38 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.

They held a lead all the way until there was 1:35 left when a heavily-contested 3-point shot by the Ducks’ Ehab Amin went down and tied the game at 67.

From there, neither team could score on offense and we went to overtime.

Oregon opened the extra period with an 8-1 spurt that included the Sun Devils’ Zylan Cheatham fouling out.

As was the nature of the game all night, it simply wasn’t gonna end there. ASU rallied back to within four and had a chance to tie on one of the last possessions of the game. Down three, freshman guard Luguentz Dort took a long uncontested 3-pointer with 16 seconds left that hit the back iron and one Oregon free throw followed by a miss and offensive rebound sealed the game.

Arizona State’s offense crumbled in large part to an apparent groin injury suffered by guard Remy Martin early in the first half. Marin continued to play through the injury, and while he looked better later in the game, he was clearly limited in his movement.

Both teams were nearly even in every statistic outside of free-throw shooting, where Oregon’s 54.2 percent effort on 24 attempts didn’t punish ASU. On the other end of that, the Sun Devils turned the ball over 14 times to just eight for the Ducks.

Oregon advances to the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday night against top-seeded Washington, a game that will certainly have Sun Devil fans rooting for the Huskies.

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