Are they in? Are they out?
Arizona State is that proverbial “bubble team” whose NCAA tournament fate changes by the day.
For many, it’s become great talk around the water cooler unless while you’re there you happen to run into head coach Herb Sendek.
“I don’t even give it a nanosecond,” Sendek said. “My day is filled with preparation and focus on our team and our next opponent. I don’t have time to do anything else. It’s an illusion anyway, because it changes every hour. It changes with every game.”
The Sun Devils are 18-6 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-12 as they hit the road to play Utah Wednesday and Colorado Saturday.
While Sendek may not pay much attention to his team’s RPI (66), strength of schedule (109) or even Joe Lunardi’s ESPN Bracketology, his players admit they are to a certain extent.
“It’s definitely brought up as a group because we know what’s at stake and what we’re capable of,” senior Carrick Felix said. “But we just try to make sure we stay in the present because if we don’t take care of now there won’t be a future.”
This much is known: ASU is guaranteed eight more games — seven conference games plus at least one Pac-12 tournament game, to better its resume. The Sun Devils have not experienced March Madness since 2009.
“We know we have an opportunity to make the NCAA tournament,” Felix said. “But we just try take it everyday and make sure we just win the next game. I think that’s definitely going to be huge for us coming down the stretch not thinking about the future but just worrying about the present.”