Arizona State’s basketball team is only 12-16 this season.
But the Sun Devils become the team opponents don’t want to face in the 2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Bobby Hurley’s side have won five of their last six games heading into the regular season finals against California and Stanford at home this week.
The Sun Devils defeated Oregon in Tempe on Feb. 17, 81-57, before defeating Oregon State at home, 73-53, on Feb. 19.
After losing to UCLA on February 21 66-52, ASU beat Colorado on the road on February 24 82-65 and Utah on the road on February 26 63-61.
The team has the attention of some college basketball players and Pac-12 insiders.
“Arizona State is a completely different team than at the start of the season,” CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted recently. “I wouldn’t want to play this team in Las Vegas in two weeks.”
Continued: Jay Heath and Jalen Graham lead Arizona State past Utah
“ASU: The team no one (seeded 4-12) wants to play in the Pac-12 tournament,” Jon Wilner of San Jose Mercury News tweeted recently. “As we all thought.”
Wilner explained the Sun Devils in a recent story, writing that teams would want to draw ASU into the Pac-12 tournament at their own risk.
“No team possesses more momentum than the Sun Devils, who have won five of their last six after a road sweep of mountain schools. Two days before Arizona lost to Colorado, ASU chased the Buffaloes off the ground. We see two main reasons for Tempe’s rise, and they’re connected: a more efficient offense and a steady competitive pace. Due to COVID, the Sun Devils played one game in a 24-day period end of December and the first half of January. For a team heavily reliant on transfers, the shutdown has severely affected chemistry, confidence and tempo. ASU hosts Bay Area schools this week, creating the distinct possibility finishing the season with a league-best .500 (10-10) – a remarkable turnaround for a team that was 3-9 at one point.”
Continued: Phoenix Suns or Arizona Wildcats: Which team has the best chance of winning the championship in 2022?
SI.com’s Donnie Druin wrote about how hot ASU is at the right time.
He wrote: “We are only two weeks away from the Pac-12 tournament as Arizona State has two home meetings with Cal (March 3) and Stanford (March 5) before preparations for conference brackets can begin. Realistically, the Sun Devils need a championship game appearance to be on the verge of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, if not winning it all in Las Vegas It’s their own fault thanks to a treacherous start to the season.However, ASU has seemingly rounded the corner in all facets, displaying active hands on defense, while taking better quality hits on the other end.When it comes to re-enacting magic runs , any player/coach/analyst could tell you it’s all about who gets hot at the right time. the Pac-12 like UCLA, Arizona and USC always stand in the way. But maybe let’s see- we the state of Arizona do just that at a time when it is needed more than ever know.
The 2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled for March 9-12 in Las Vegas and the Sun Devils are currently tied with Stanford for the No. 8 seed in the tournament at 8-10 in conference, just one game behind. Washington State. and Washington for the No. 6 seed.
The season hasn’t been great, but the Sun Devils are playing well at the right time.
How much damage can they do in the conference tournament?
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