Arizona State (22-12, 11-9 Pac-12) is in the tournament, but the Sun Devils must earn their spot in the round of 64. They’ll take on Nevada (22-10, 12-6 MWC) in the First Four.
- Date: Wednesday, March 15th, 2023
- Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
- Location: UD Arena, Dayton, OH
- Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook has Arizona State listed as 2.5-point favorites, with the over/under set at 136 points.
- Watch: truTV
- Listen: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Dylan Wilhelm: The Sun Devils snuck into the NCAA tournament, earning a spot in the First Four against Nevada in Dayton after making it to the semifinals in the Pac-12 tournament. The winner between the two #11 seeds will travel to Denver to take on #6 TCU on Friday.
The Wolfpack are led by Jarod Lucas and Kenan Blackshear, two senior guards who have put up 17 and 14 points per game, respectively. Lucas comes in on a tear, having put up 75 points in his last three games, including 28 in an overtime loss to San Jose State. Blackshear leads the team in assists and steals while also shooting 44.5 percent from the field.
The Wolfpack will look to get to the free throw line often, as they post the fourth-best shooting percentage from the line in the country (79.1 percent). Arizona State has committed 18.5 fouls per game, which ranks 294th.
The revenge game moniker may be in play for the Devils, as both Warren Washington Jr. and Desmond Cambridge Jr. are playing their former team.
The Devils have had success forcing turnovers throughout Pac-12 play, but will have to force Nevada to make uncharacteristic mistakes if they hope to continue that trend tonight. The Wolfpack averaged just 10.2 turnovers per game, 19th-fewest in the country.
The Devils are top-15 in field goal percentage against, however, so while the pressure may not lead to gaudy turnover numbers, they should still give Nevada fits on the defensive end.
It’s as tight as a First Four matchup should be, but the Devils defense prevails and ASU wins, 68-64.