This is Arizona State's 14th NCAA appearance and first since 2009. ASU is 13-14 and has reached the Final Eight on three occasions (1961, 1963 and 1975) under Ned Wulk. Utah, Oregon State and UCLA eliminated ASU in those years. In 2009, sixth-seeded ASU beat #11 Temple 66-57 in Miami before falling to #3-seeded Syracuse 78-68 under Herb Sendek. In 2003, ASU was a 10-seed and beat seventh-seeded Memphis 84-71 before eventual national runner-up Kansas beat ASU 108-76 in Oklahoma City under Rob Evans.
Herb Sendek is making his second appearance in the NCAA Tournament with ASU and his eighth overall and is 7-7. He was 1-1 with Miami (Ohio) in 1995, and then went 5-5 as his North Carolina State teams made five straight appearances from 2002-2006. He is 6-1 in first-round games. He took NC State to five straight NCAA Tournaments in his final five seasons (2002-06).
In the past seven years under Herb Sendek Arizona State is 25-10, 5-0 this season, when the Sun Devil staff has five full days between games. ASU, losers of six of their last eight games would naturally hope for that trend to continue.