Sunday, 16 December, 2018

NCAA Play-In: Syracuse Orange vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

NCAA Play-In: Syracuse Orange vs. Arizona State Sun Devils NCAA Play-In: Syracuse Orange vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Sandra Phillips | 15 March, 2018, 00:14

Fast starters Arizona State and Syracuse meet in the First Four. With the exception of West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga - a No. 4 seed with a favorable first-round site in Boise - this region's teams are bound for the outskirts of postseason play.

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It's particularly exciting for Goodwin, the graduate transfer and sixth-year senior who is with her fourth college program, but will play in her first NCAA Tournament.

When you rebound effectively and have a reliable scorer, you have a chance in the tournament. Arizona State led the Pac-12 with an 83.5 scoring average and a plus-four turnover margin.

Season recap: After remaining unbeaten until late December with marquee wins against Xavier, Kansas State and Kansas on the road, the Sun Devils rose to No. 3 in the nation, their highest ranking in school history. "They do a really good job of having nearly a wing player playing the four", Miller said. The opening line favors Arizona State to win at -1.5, 64.6% have picked Syracuse to cover the spread. I find myself agreeing with TV pundits who say the committee has lost sight of the goal of putting the best teams into the tournament. Fortunately, Syracuse was the best possible matchup they could have hoped for. Three wins I admit is pretty good, but nowhere near enough considering their ample opportunities.

NCAA Play-In: Syracuse Orange vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

Senior guards Tra Holder (18.4 points), Evans II (16.6) and Kodi Justice (12.6) led the Sun Devils in scoring. The Orange have lost four of their last six outings, and were taken out by North Carolina last week.

The lure of the NCAA Tournament is the consistent upsets that we see year in and year out.

Rasmussen said there was a lot of discussion on Kentucky and Arizona, seeded as a No. 5 and No. 4, respectively, in the South region. They allowed just 62.2 points per game this season, good for fifth in Division I.

Earlier I said that the committee favors mediocre teams in major conferences over good teams in more inferior ones, and Syracuse is the best at being mediocre.

The Tigers played all of their non-conference games away from home and began the season with 13 straight losses. "So being 0-13, it only bothered other people". Their at-large bid seemed like a certainty all through championship week, which surprised me because they don't fit the typical description of an at-large bid. MA transfer Donte Clark (18.6 points) erupted for 41 points during one of Jefferson's absences and is averaging 23.6 points over the last five contests. "We've created the standard at North Carolina Central and I'm proud because our guys upheld that standard".

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