Arizona State loses heartbreaker to TCU, bows out of NCAA Tournament

Mar 17, 2023, 9:36 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2023, 12:44 am
Frankie Collins #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils drives to the basket against Xavier Cork #12 of...
Frankie Collins #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils drives to the basket against Xavier Cork #12 of the TCU Horned Frogs during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Ball Arena on March 17, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The 11th-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils lost in heartbreaking fashion on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 72-70, to sixth-seeded TCU.

Arizona State at two different points in the second half appeared to pull away. After it led by seven at halftime, it went up 11 with 15 minutes remaining. TCU rallied to tie the game but then trailed again by eight at 4:38 to go. When the Sun Devils were up 65-57, though, they sacrificed a 13-2 run over the next four minutes and change to trail by three with 24 seconds left.

That’s when ASU guard DJ Horne hit a clutch 3-pointer to tie it once more with 16 ticks remaining.

In the game-defining sequence, the Horned Frogs’ leading scorer Mike Miles Jr. was wisely pressured off the ball by the Sun Devils. But that left TCU big man JaKobe Coles with some room and he sunk the game-winning floater at a second remaining. A three-quarters-court heave from Collins was the only option without an ability to advance the ball and it was missed.

ASU shot 59% in the first half for 44 points but produced only 26 in the second half. Horne scored 17 points while Miles led all scorers with 26.

Arizona State advanced to take on the Horned Frogs after beating Nevada in a First Four blowout on Wednesday. ASU scored 98 points, a new record for a First Four game. It was the third straight NCAA Tournament berth for the Sun Devils to come via the First Four as a No. 11 seed.

Friday marked the sixth NCAA Tournament berth for the Sun Devils since 2003 and the quest for getting past the first weekend for the first time since 1995 continues. That Sun Devils team made a run as a No. 5 seed after beating 12th-seeded Ball State and 13th-seeded Manhattan State before going down in the Sweet 16 to No. 1 seed Kansas.


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