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Bracketology: ASU still middle-tier tournament seed after L.A. losses

Arizona State forward Taeshon Cherry (35) defends on Southern California guard Jonah Mathews (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Arizona State’s men’s basketball team marched into Los Angeles with the ability to boost its NCAA Tournament resume. Instead, it left with losses to UCLA and USC that stamped out the good feels of a seven-game winning streak heading into last week.

It’s not the worst thing for Bobby Hurley’s team entering the final week of the regular season, with home games remaining against Washington on Thursday and Washington State this Saturday.

The two losses didn’t submarine the Sun Devils’ postseason resume too greatly.

Here’s a look at the important numbers for ASU basketball when it comes to their postseason status.

How bad were the losses to UCLA and USC?

Generally, the road defeats to lower-seeded NCAA Tournament teams weren’t terrible.

Falling 71-61 to USC on Saturday counted as a Quad 1 loss, while the 75-72 defeat at the hands of the UCLA Bruins was a Quad 2 loss, just ASU’s second in six games this year.

The Sun Devils dropped to 5-8 against Quad 1 teams and remain in solid position without a loss in 10 Quad 3 and 4 games.

Not much fall-off

Let’s take a look at last week’s numbers, shall we?

Arizona State dropped from 41st in NET rating last week to 49th this week. By KenPom ranking, the drop was only from 55th to 58th.

How does that affect seeding?

Last week might’ve costed the Sun Devils a single seed. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had ASU as a No. 9 seed and dropped it to a No. 10 this week. Jerry Palm at CBS dropped ASU from an eight seed to a nine, and’s Andy Katz still has Arizona State as an eight seed.

BracketMatrix’s combined 108 brackets average the Sun Devils out to a No. 9 seed.

Finally, Team Rankings’ computer models also project ASU as a No. 9 seed.

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