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Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State’s Schedule is a Problem

Head Coach Bobby Hurley has long defended this schedule this year, saying that despite the lack of big names, it’s actually a very hard schedule, considering they are playing a lot of good mid-major programs.

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I don’t see it this way.

This schedule is hurting Arizona State a lot. They’ve only played a single top-25 team, and despite that, they have four losses. Arizona State is not preparing itself for the Pac-12 with this weak schedule. They got the doors blown off them in a few games where they played someone decent.

Non-Conference Play

For example, they faced a Mississippi State team currently 9-2 and lost by 15 in a game that wasn’t even close. Then, they played BYU, the only top-25 team they have faced so far, and lost by 28. Finally, they played a TCU team with a good record but didn’t play great competition and got beat by 20. So, Arizona State has played three tough opponents and lost by a combined 63 points.

So, when this happens, you must prove you belong by destroying the mid-major schools. They haven’t done that. They barely beat UMass-Lowell, a team that is currently 7-4. The Sun Devils also barely beat SMU, who is also 7-4.  ASU didn’t look good against Texas Southern. And to top it all off, they got embarrassed by a San Diego team projected to be one of the worst in College Basketball this year.

Arizona State faces their second top 25 on Wednesday when they play Northwestern at the Footprint Center. As much as I want to believe they have a chance, I truly believe they get the doors blown off.

Pac-12 Play

Now, that gets us into Pac-12 play, where the Pac-12 is looking very weak. In a press conference earlier this year, Hurley said this is the best Pac-12 he’s seen. That’s just not true. Besides Arizona, which looks like a national championship contender, no one else in the conference is ranked, which is embarrassing, considering this is never the case. Usually a force, UCLA has lost to four good teams and has not beaten any. Colorado is second but hasn’t beaten anyone substantially, which is the story with most of the conference. A lot of Pac-12 teams have put together very weak schedules. This has led to AP not taking them seriously and leaving them out of the top 25.

This leads me to my final opinion. Arizona State’s schedule is so bad that if they lose to Northwestern in a bad way, they might be out of NCAA Tournament contention. Unless a miracle happens in Pac-12 play, I don’t see a path for Arizona State to make the tournament.

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