BLOG: ASU's path to an at-large NCAA bid not closed yet

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By Christian Petersen By Christian Petersen

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sun Devil nation was hoping it wouldn’t come down to this.

With their fading NCAA Tournament hopes now on life support, the way I see it is the Sun Devils have two more shots to reach the tournament field of 68.

One path is obvious. Win the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next week and they’re in. This is we know. End of discussion.

Two, and this is where it gets murky, if the Sun Devils can win their next four games and just reach the Pac-12 championship game, I honestly believe this will at least get them back on the NCAA bubble.

Winning the next four games requires of course beating U of A in Tucson Saturday and then three straight games in the conference tournament. This will be an incredible accomplishment for a team that’s currently lost 5 of its last 7.

I’m not predicting this mind you.  I’m just giving a possible path to an at-large bid – something that most consider no longer a possibility.

A win over U of A would give the Sun Devils wins over top-25 teams U of A and UCLA along with two wins over Colorado. The Buffaloes will likely finish with more than 20 wins and a top-25 RPI. 

The quality wins will be there and more important, advancing to the Pac-12 Championship game will give the Sun Devils an impressive final record of 24-11.

24 wins along with the rising RPI that comes with adding four more wins (three of those could be ‘quality’ wins) and  the exposure of reaching the conference title game should put ASU back on the bubble and at this point, the bubble sounds awfully good.