The ASU men’s basketball team plays Texas tomorrow night in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Texas is a good basketball team. Coach Sendek and the Sun Devil squad are no doubt focusing all their energy on preparing for the Longhorns. As media, we have the luxury of looking ahead.
ASU is in the Midwest Region for the NCAA Tournament. All the bracketologists and college basketball experts have labeled the Midwest Region as the most brutal regional bracket. The reason: This regional not only has the #1 seed Wichita State (undefeated), but it also has Kentucky, Louisville, Duke and Michigan. That’s a pretty daunting pool. Kentucky, Louisville, Duke and Michigan sounds like a recent final four.
For ASU, if they were to beat Texas on Thursday, they will most likely play Michigan next. That’s a nice reward. Michigan is a good squad that has earned a #2 seed in the region, ranked below only the Shockers from Wichita State. If the Sun Devils were to somehow beat the Wolverines, they would most likely play Duke and then Louisville if they were fortunate enough. Again, that’s a tough draw.
It appears to be a tough draw for everyone in this region. Wichita State has got to be rolling their eyes at the selection committee for giving them a pool like this. No doubt, whoever comes out of the Midwest Region to play in the Final Four will definitely have earned it.
For ASU, they simply cannot even bother to think that far ahead. The notion of beating Texas, Michigan, Duke and Louisville in succession is probably ludicrous. However, crazier feats have been accomplished. This Sun Devil squad must have the confidence and focus to play Texas and Texas only. If they are successful, then they have to summon the confidence and focus to beat Michigan (and whoever else). Coach Sendek and his staff cannot let an attitude of impossibility permeate the consciousness of this team. The Sun Devils must live in the moment, enjoy the opportunity and let it fly. That’s their only chance. In reality, it’s the only chance for everybody in the Midwest Region.