Pac-12 Tournament draw: ASU basketball plays Stanford in first tourney game

USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils and the Cardinal will christen the MGM Grand with the first Pac-12 Tournament game in Vegas history on Wednesday afternoon.

Arizona State has fallen on hard times recently. Losers of four straight, ASU went from possibly earning a bye in the Pac-12 Tournament to finishing at 9th overall in the conference. A four-way tie between Washington, USC, Stanford and ASU ended up poorly for the Devils, who lost twice to UW, split against USC, and lost to Stanford in regular season competition.

The Sun Devils have had trouble with Stanford in recent years, but the 8/9 game is a good place for ASU to land. Why? They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

At 20-11, Arizona State is effectively out of the discussion for the NCAA Tournament, barring an impressive run through the Pac-12 Tournament. Conference champion UCLA awaits the winner of Stanford/ASU, a team that the Sun Devils have played well against in 2013. If the Devils can survive against the Cardinal, they would have a legitimate shot at the top dog in the conference.

Tipoff for Stanford vs. Arizona State is at 12:06 PM Pacific time on Wednesday afternoon, broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. It's an early start, and it will be extremely important for the Devils to shake off the poor play of the past few weeks and begin to do what got them off to a great start this year: allowing Carrick Felix space to slash and create opportunities for Evan Gordon, Jonathan Gilling and Jahii Carson to make shots.

The scouting report on this batch of Sun Devils has limited offensive creativity recently. The time has come to flip the script. No better place to double-down than in Vegas.

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