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Arizona State invited to NCAA Tournament, named No. 10 seed in Midwest

Arizona State men’s basketball is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.

The tournament selection committee placed the Sun Devils (21-11, 10-8) at No. 10 in the Midwest region Sunday. ASU is slated to face the No. 7 seed Texas on Thursday, March 20, at 6:40 p.m. MST in Milwaukee, Wis.

Behind sophomore Jahii Carson and seniors Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall, ASU basketball is having its best campaign in recent memory. The team’s season hit a high point when it beat in-state rival Arizona in double overtime in Tempe on Feb. 14. ASU had a 19-6 overall record after that win.

Since that upset victory, the Sun Devils have sputtered to five losses in their last seven games, including a quarterfinals ouster in the Pac-12 Tournament at the hands of Stanford. Despite the rough finish, ASU still ended the regular season with the fifth-best record in the conference.

If Arizona State passes its first test Thursday, the team will face the winner of the No. 2 Michigan and No. 15 Wofford matchup.

The Sweet Sixteen round of the region will be played in Indianapolis.

Herb Sendek was still the program’s head coach when the Sun Devils last played in the NCAA’s top postseason tournament five years ago, boasting future NBA players in James Harden and Jeff Ayres. As a No. 6 seed, they dismissed the Tempe Owls in their first challenge, but fell to Syracuse in the following round.

ASU was one of two schools from the state to be named to the tourney Sunday. Arizona, which had the Pac-12’s best regular season record, was named the No. 1 seed in West region.