This year they'll take on the St. John's Red Storm in a battle of 11th seeds and last game to set the field of 64 NCAA Tournament teams.
Won and definitely not done.
Last year, the No. 11-seeded Syracuse Orange defeated Arizona State in the First Four play-in game and carried that pre-tourney momentum into a tournament run and Sweet 16 appearance, where they ultimately lost to No. 2-seeded Duke. "And getting some good wins like this, coming into the tournament getting some tough wins like this, it's just great for us".
Coach Bobby Hurley breathed fire and energy into a slumbering program to accomplish this in only his fourth year in Tempe.
Once again, after sneaking into the tournament with a late at-large bid, Arizona State is pitted against a similarly positioned team in St. John's, and left to fight its way into the first round for a second straight year. Romello White and Luguentz Dort each scored 12. A 16-3 first half run stretched a close 13-10 game into a 29-13 ASU lead and it led by as many as 18 points in the first half. "And I'm sure he's very familiar with our team and our players. We mixed our defenses up some, and our zone was pretty effective in the first half". I'm just here to help my team win.
St. John's hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 2000.
It was clear that the Red Storm were off their game, shooting a questionable 31.9% from the field, 25.8% from the three-point line (on 31 attempts) and 56.5% from the charity stripe.
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I am trying to build on the momentum I have. "But I feel England has a strong batting lineup as compared to the other teams". It is nice to make an impact, particularly in the middle overs.
Arizona State almost advanced to the Pac-12 title game but narrowly lost to a very skilled OR team in overtime.
It was not shocking to see the Sun Devils, who massively struggle with putting together a consistent 40 minutes, slowly crumble against the Bulls, whose now 32-3 record represents their consistency. They upset then-No. 1 Kansas in Tempe, swept archrival Arizona for the first time in 10 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in almost 40 years.
St. John's: The Red Storm opened the season with 12 wins, their best start since the 1982-83 season, but faded at the end, losing five of their last six.
"And I haven't really had time to think about how I'm going to feel on Friday", Hurley said about the impending matchup with his former team. "I can't really hit it on the head".
Arizona State senior Zylan Cheatham has dreamed about playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona State was 25 of 33 on free throws.
The loss to the Gaels has also not dampened the Bulldogs' position on the overall NCAA Tournament odds, where they remain neck-and-neck with Virginia as a +600 wager to claim their first-ever title.