PHOENIX - Do we have to? Well, if we want to see the Arizona State Sun Devils’ season continue… Yes, ASU fans need to root for the University of Arizona Wildcats right now. I know… As an ASU alum, it turns my stomach as well.
Thanks to their disappointing performance in conference play (8-10) and brief showing in the PAC-12 Tournament (one and done), the Sun Devils likely need a little help to lock up a spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament. That includes help from their rivals down south.
To increase their chances, ASU needs as many top seeds—or quality teams that are likely already in the tournament---to go on to win their conference tournaments as possible. Those champions receive an automatic bid, rather than snatch a coveted at-large bid which are numbered. The more quality teams that settle for an at-large bid, the fewer the spots available for teams on the bubble---like ASU.
For example, say the Oregon Ducks win the PAC-12 tournament. They’re a team that will most likely miss out on the big dance unless they win their conference tournament. And since Arizona is a lock no matter what, that scenario would look like this:
Oregon’s automatic bid + Arizona’s at-large bid = one fewer at-large bid for ASU.
So ASU fans, it’s sad but true… If we want to once again throw our forks up, the Sun Devils need the Wildcats to---beardown. Ugh. Can’t believe I just said that.