Having dropped five of its last seven games, Arizona State’s March Madness hopes are dwindling and it seems winning the Pac-12 tournament is their final life-line.
ASU head coach Herb Sendek told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo he feels, despite some tough losses, his team fought hard all season in hopes of getting invited to the dance.
“As much as you watch other teams around the country, the only destiny you do control is your own, and that comes down to winning enough games to put yourself in a position to be selected,” he said. “The more games you win the stronger your case is. We always felt like if we win enough games we’ll be deserving of a bid.”
Four of the Sun Devils’ last six losses have been by five points of less, and most recently they lost to USC by one point Saturday afternoon.
“With the exception of the UA game at home, every single conference loss we’ve had has come down to the last or maybe, at worst, the second to last possession,” Sendek said. “It’s been incredibly competitive and close, any number of those games could have gone our way.
“Literally coming down to the last possession, going into overtime, the next to last possession, it can’t get much closer.”
ASU’s struggles in close games may be attributed to poor free throw shooting, which has been an issue for the duration of the season.
The Sun Devils are shooting 62 percent from the free throw line, which is a mark that ranks last in the conference.
“The one thing that stands out more than anything, when you look at the number of close games that we’ve played, is our free throw shooting,” he said. “It’s just really hard to look past those numbers when you see the close margins in these games.”