Arizona State's defining weakness on the season has been defensive rotations off the ball, and with the way Syracuse tries to score, ASU will be tested more than ever. But now they get a fresh start, against a team that isn't as familiar with them as the Pac-12 opponents.
When the Arizona State logo popped up on the tournament selection show, players celebrated by jumping into the swimming pool at Hurley's house. This matches up with Syracuse's 16th ranked scoring defense, which allows just under 65 points per game. "So, we took advantage of the weather and the attractive place that we live in to celebrate quickly and jump around, and then jump in the pool quick", said Hurley, who was the first one to jump in the pool.
Arizona State was always a tournament lock, but their recent stretch of poor play sent them to the First Four. Battle leads Division I players with an average of 38.5 minutes per game and Howard is second at 38.3.
The last two years, SportsLine's computer simulation correctly predicted nine out of 12 double-digit NCAA Tournament upsets in the first round with their computer algorithm. They also finished the season poorly, going 1-3 in their last 4 regular season games.More news: Russell Westbrook just fourth player to 100 triple-doubles
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After Syracuse was knocked out of the ACC Tournament at the hands of North Carolina, and Arizona State fell to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament, both programs were surprise selections for the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have lost four of their last six outings, and were taken out by North Carolina last week. "This is what the kids play for in the summer and the offseason, and I'm just thrilled to be back in the NCAA Tournament".
The Bulls will get their first test at shaking up the field of 64 and make history as a 13-seed when they square off against No. 4 seed Arizona Thursday night in Boise, Idaho.
Nevada has the best assist to turnover ratio in Division I to go with a No. 30 BPI ranking. Syracuse has been pretty average most of the season.
The Tigers played all of their non-conference games away from home and began the season with 13 straight losses. Texas Southern was here in 2014. "They keep me motivated and keep me going". "We felt we were deserving of a place in the tournament, but others who actually make the decision didn't feel the same". When they announced our name I was so excited.
Buffalo earned an automatic bid to the tournament by defeating Toledo in the Mid-American Conference Tournament title game on Saturday in Cleveland.