LAS VEGAS — Now the painful waiting game begins for Arizona State. Wednesday’s loss to Colorado came down to awful free throw shooting by the Sun Devils (12-21) and Colorado hitting 61-percent of their three pointers. Final result-Buffs beat down the Sun Devils 97-85. Colorado advances to play top-seed Arizona on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.
At the opening tip ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson was in row one. Thirty seconds later row two, and by the first timeout, was sitting by himself five rows from his original landing spot. Tough for the leader of an athletic department to sit through a showing like Wednesday afternoon.
It’s been a rough couple of months for the Sun Devil basketball program. Undefeated and ranked third in the nation in December. The buzz and media attention was unlike anything I’ve seen around the program. The University and head coach Bobby Hurley agreed on a contract extension. The marketing group worked at branding the name of the Sun Devils home court to “The Bank.” They even brought in legendary public address announcer Michael Buffer to introduce the starting lineups for a game. But none of the peripherals stuff matters much, when you lose more than win the first three months of the calendar year.
Now the Sun Devils (20-11) have to sit and wait to see if they will be invited to this years field of 68. Wins over Kansas and Xavier at the end of 2017 is all that they really have to hang their hat on.
Even the most ardent Arizona State fan was sending me notes during the game wondering how this free-fall could happen.
The NCAA Selection Committee will have the answer on Sunday.