Sun Devils Spiral Out of Postseason
It's a bad week to be a fan of the Arizona State men's basketball team. I personally feel bad for their coach, Herb Sendek, because I've met him in person and he's a great guy.
Unfortunately, his individual skill doesn't leak out onto the basketball court, and it's shown over the past seven days.
On the morning of March 10th, things were looking pretty good for the Devils. They finished the regular season by winning six of their last seven games, bringing them to 22-9 overall (12-6 Pac-10). They weren't quite in the tournament for sure yet, but a win over a mediocre 13-17 Stanford team they had just beaten two weeks ago would put them a few steps closer.
Then the Devils went out and lost to Standford 70-61 (in a game that wasn't even that close) and were left out of the NCAA tournament. That was unfortunate, but they were given a chance to rebound as one of four No.1 seeds in the NIT.
Just one problem - the Sun Devils struggled down the stretch once again. Facing Jacksonville University out of the Atlantic Sun conference, ASU had things in hand, and at the final TV timeout with four minutes to play had pushed out to a comfortable 60-49 lead.
Then the offense disappeared. Arizona State missed all five of their shot attempts down the stretch, but thanks to free throw trips, the Devils led by four with 20 seconds left and another pair of free throws to come. They made one of two, gave up a layup, turned it over, gave up two more points, and then found themselves at the line again.
No worries, seal the game. They made one of two again, and on the miss Jacksonville made a 30 foot three pointer to take a one point lead. Arizona State completely ignored the four timeouts they had left and inbounded the ball, but failed to score, and their season came to an end.
After such a messy end to the season, don't be surprised if some changes are afoot for the Sun Devils' program heading into next year.