ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

Last team in: ESPN’s Lunardi has Sun Devils on fringe before facing Wildcats

Mar 10, 2023, 12:02 PM

Desmond Cambridge Jr, ASU...

Desmond Cambridge Jr. #4 of the Arizona State Sun Devils and Reese Dixon-Waters #2 of the USC Trojans react after the Trojans turned the ball over in the second half of a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

When they say it’s for all the marbles, previewers of Arizona State’s third men’s basketball matchup of the year against rival Arizona mean it.

For the Sun Devils, an NCAA Tournament berth could hinge on the result of a Pac-12 Tournament semifinals game Friday night.

Before any college basketball games tipped on Friday morning, ASU was listed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi as the last team in the field of 68.

Notable bubble teams still alive in their respective conference tournaments include Clemson (7:30 p.m. MST vs. Virginia) and Utah State (10 p.m. MST vs. Boise State). The former is the second team left out of Lunardi’s bracket, while the latter is one spot ahead as the second-to-last team in the field as of Friday morning.

Clemson taking down the No. 29 team in NET rankings would be significant, as would Utah State dropping No. 26 Boise State.

Neither win would pull the weight as if ASU for the second time this year could drop Arizona, which sits 11th in NET after advancing past Stanford to open the Pac-12 Tournament.

But Utah State (24-7, No. 18) NET has a big advantage over Clemson (23-9, No. 51) and Arizona State (22-11, No. 60).

After the Sun Devils defeated USC late Thursday night, their NET rating got a five-spot boost.

Fifty-one of 93 brackets tracked by BracketMatrix.com has ASU in the field. That averages out to an 11-seed.

The Sun Devils face the Wildcats at 9:30 p.m. MST at 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com. ESPN will carry the game on television.

Arizona State Basketball

Final Four logo...

Associated Press

NCAA presents a plan to expand March Madness tournaments

The NCAA has presented a plan that would expand the lucrative men's and women's basketball tournaments by four or eight teams.

4 days ago

Koa Peat #10 of the Perry Pumas will suit up for the USA U17 team in the World Cup this summer. (Ph...

Damon Allred

Gilbert Perry’s Koa Peat headlines USA Basketball U17 World Cup team

Koa Peat, a star forward at Gilbert Perry and top-5 overall prospect in the 2025 class, will represent USA at the U17 World Cup this summer.

5 days ago

Caleb Love, Arizona Wildcats...

Kevin Zimmerman

A flowchart: Caleb Love’s college return has recruiting fallout for Arizona, ASU and GCU

Caleb Love tested the NBA Draft before he returned to college. The domino effect impacted Arizona, Arizona State and Grand Canyon recruiting.

11 days ago

Head coach Bryce Drew of the Grand Canyon Antelopes reacts to a play in the second round of the NCA...

Damon Allred

Former ASU-committed forward Sammie Yeanay signs with Grand Canyon

Four-star 2024 forward Sammie Yeanay committed to Grand Canyon basketball after he was previously committed to Arizona State.

11 days ago

Big 12 logo...

Arizona Sports

Reports: Big 12 discussing naming rights deal with Allstate

The Big 12 is reportedly considering becoming the first conference to agree to a naming-rights deal with its conference brand.

12 days ago

UConn head coach Dan Hurely...

Arizona Sports

Reports: Dan Hurley rejects Lakers’ contract offer, remaining with UConn

UConn head men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley turned down a six-year, $70 million offer to lead the Los Angeles Lakers.

14 days ago

Last team in: ESPN’s Lunardi has Sun Devils on fringe before facing Wildcats