Feb 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils guard Jahii Carson (1) grabs a rebound in the first half of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Paviliion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Bracketology: Arizona State Sun Devils an NCAA Tournament Team? Decide Yourself

Think you have what it takes to hash out a fair 68-team bracket? Convinced the Selection Committee has it easy? Find out for yourself as Busting Brackets invites you into the selection room for a simulated look at the challenges confronting the ten-member panel on a daily basis. Next up on the docket: collating bubble teams.

Presenting Arizona State, a team that unexpectedly surged from the dregs of the Pac-12 a year ago into a bona fide bubble occupant.

The Sun Devils nearly flipped their record around from last season, leaning on star rookie point guard Jahii Carson to improve from 10-21 to 21-12 in one year. Thanks to the dynamic Carson, a red-shirt freshman who was academically ineligible for the 2011-12 season, Herb Sendek ditched his trademark plodding tempo for a more fast-paced style of play.

With stark improvements on both ends of the floor came commensurate improvements in the standings for Sendek’s team. ASU upped its scoring average 10 points — from 61 to 71 points per game — this season from last. A defensive stalwart, Carrick Felix’s newfangled offensive game  legitimized the backcourt in Tempe while center Jordan Bachynski’s season-long development fortified the interior. Too bad their breakthroughs may not make it onto college basketball’s grandest stage for all to see.

After Thursday’s loss to UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament — a game the Sun Devils controlled throughout but fumbled late — Arizona State finds its NCAA tournament candidacy in hot water. Light on signature wins, especially away from home, ASU sorely needed a redeeming win over the conference regular season champs. To no avail.

Have the Sun Devils done enough anyway to merit  an at-large invitation? View their portfolio below, then decide yourself. The arrows in the right-hand column represent how Arizona State stacks up with other bubble teams in each criterion. The upward arrow signifies “better than the average bubble team,” the downward arrow denotes worse and the lateral two-way arrow suggests ASU is about on par with the field.

 

Overall Record

21-12

Conference Record

9-9

Conference RPI Rank

#6

Team RPI

#84

Strength of Schedule

#110

Non-Conference SOS

#298

Home

15-4

Away

4-6

Neutral

2-2

Record vs. RPI Top 25

0-3

Record vs. RPI Top 50

4-5

Record vs. RPI Top 100

6-9

Last 10 Games

3-7

Best Win

vs. UCLA (Home)

Worst Loss

vs. DePaul (Home)

 

Is Arizona State deserving of an NCAA tournament at-large bid?

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Tags: Arizona State Sun Devils Basketball

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