Following their worst week of the season, which included ugly losses at Colorado and Utah, the Arizona State Sun Devils regrouped quite nicely.
ASU completed their third consecutive Pac-12 home sweep with wins over California and Stanford to push their record to 21-8 overall and 10-6 in conference with just two games remaining.
Most national experts have the Sun Devils receiving an invitation to the NCAA Tournament at this point, but head coach Herb Sendek isn’t ready to make travel arrangements just yet.
“I’d like to think we’re in a very good position right now,” Sendek said following Saturday’s 78-60 win over Stanford at Wells Fargo Arena. “But I certainly haven’t studied it and analyzed it like the committee is in the process of doing and will continue to do. So all we can do is focus on our next game, like we always do.”
ASU will wrap up the regular season on the road against Oregon Tuesday and Oregon State Saturday before heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the country’s premier bracketologist, has ASU as an 8-seed in the East and facing Kansas State in their first game. A win there, at least in this projection, would have the Devils facing the nation’s top-ranked team, the Florida Gators, in the next round.
Similarly, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has the Sun Devils as an 8-seed, but in the South taking on SMU in their first game.
But, Sendek isn’t too concerned about any of it. Rather, he’s focusing on what his team and conference have been able to accomplish so far.
“I think the Pac-12 is going to be handsomely rewarded,” he said. “Forget RPI, BPI, you know all the numbers — if you just use the eyeball test and just watch Pac-12 basketball, the quality of play is at a really, really high level.
“I would not be at all surprised, and I think it’s quite possible, we could get as many as eight teams in the tournament this year. I don’t think that would be a stretch — I think our league has been that good this year.”