College basketball: Arizona State, Syracuse look to prove doubters wrong

Mindy Sparks
March 15, 2018

The victor between Syracuse and Arizona State Wednesday night will move on to play TCU (21-11) on Friday, March 16, in Detroit.

The victor of the No. 11 seed game will face No. 6 TCU in a Midwest regional on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska. The Vikings (20-13) will play a road game later this week.

This season they had a 14-4 record in the A 10 conference and 3-3 record against tournament teams.

"To ride that rollercoaster, to see us have our struggles and lose close games", Arizona State head basketball coach Bobby Hurley said, "we put ourselves in that position".

First Four: No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils vs.

The Bulls are 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament. The top scorer for Arizona State was Tra Holder with 18.4 per game. It does appear that they are just trying to send messages to the teams, this year the message being that they need to schedule more hard games in the non-conference.

Louisville and Oklahoma State, two other bubble teams that were connected to the federal probe, also missed the tournament and were selected for the NIT. Trayvon Reed (9.7 points) ranks second in the conference in rebounds (8.8) and first in blocks (3.0), while part-time starter Marquis Salmon (5.3 points, 6.2 boards) collected 48 rebounds over a three-game span prior to playing a limited role in the SWAC title game.

The Orange have been coached by the legendary Jim Boeheim since 1976 and are one of the NCAA's most notorious basketball programs.

The Eagles got to the First Four last season, their second ever tournament appearance, and fell to UC-Davis 67-63 in a game in which they shot poorly. Offensively, the Orange were less than stellar. Brandon Bell led the Knights with 20 points, Collin Malcolm scored 19 and De'Jon Bowman had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Syracuse just snuck into the tournament, but they finished 2-4 the final six games.

The most wonderful weekend of the sports calendar tips off Thursday, when dozens of teams will start their three-week odyssey to win college basketball's ultimate prize.

Arizona State was once a top-five team in the nation and was the last undefeated team in the country.

The Sun Devils earned the seventh seed and will face No. 10 Nebraska this Saturday in the first round, at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin, Texas. That average is skewed a bit to the low side because the Tigers' non-conference schedule included games against Kansas, Syracuse, Oregon, Clemson, Baylor and TCU.

As a result, Arizona, which went 25-7 this season season, has found itself sitting pretty headed into the NCAA tournament. Many people predicted the Sun Devils would (and should) have been relegated to the NIT, but that was more wishful thinking on their part.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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