***ASU is on a streak of 15 straight games vs. top-100 RPI teams.
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State Sun Devils earned the #3 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament and will tip Thursday at 8:40 p.m. PT vs. the winner of the Wednesday Washington State/Stanford game on FOX Sports 1 at MGM Grand Garden Arena (12,916). Tim Healey and Kyle Dodd have the local radio call on 98.7 FM (Sirius 157/XM 190). ASU went 1-1 vs. Stanford this year and beat Washington State in its only meeting way back on Jan. 5. ASU enters the Pac-12 Tournament on a steak of 15 straight games vs. top-100 teams, having last played a team outside the current RPI top-100 on Jan. 9 vs. USC. ASU is led by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jordan Bachynski (Pac-12 record and NCAA leading 131 blocks) and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection Jahii Carson.
WOW: Taking a look at the Sun Devil Pac-12 unbalanced schedule leads you to believe not many teams had a tougher road than ASU. If you take into the equation the top eight RPI teams (which also are top eight seeds at Pac-12 Tournament), ASU’s 7-6 mark is third-best behind only Arizona (10-3) and UCLA (8-4). ASU’s 13 games vs. those teams is matched only by Arizona’s 13. The difference in schedules ASU and UA only played the bottom two teams in the Pac-12 once (USC and WSU) and each went 2-0. Stanford, Oregon and Colorado all went 4-0.
JAHII IN VEGAS: Jahii Carson obviously likes Las Vegas, as in five games in the city he is shooting 53-of-89 (.596) from the field, 7-of-12 (.583) from the three and 31-of-39 (.795) from the free throw line and averaging 28.8 points. It was punctuated by the 40 spot he tossed at UNLV on Nov. 19 (16-of-25 from the floor), but he also had four great games in Vegas in 2012-13. Three of his top four scoring games have been in Las Vegas, as in addition to the 40 at UNLV he had 34 vs. Stanford last year in the Pac-12 Tournament and 30 vs. Creighton in the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational.
JAHII IN LAS VEGAS
11/19/13: 16-of-25 FGs, 40 points, in 86-80 win at UNLV; 9-of-13 FGs and 26 points in the second half.
3/14/13: 8-14 floor, 5-5 FTs, 21 points, 7 assts., 6 rebs in loss to UCLA
3/13/13: Pac-12 Frosh Tourney record 34 points in 89-88 OT win over Stanford; 14-22 FGs
11/24/12: 30 points and 7 assists in shootout loss to Creighton; 9-17 FGS and 10-11 FTs
11/23/12: 19 points, 6-11 FGs in win over Arkansas in 4th college game
MARRIOTT POINTS: Games in opposing and neutral arenas have been a good thing for Jahii Carson, who has averaged 21.2 points in 29 road/neutral games. Nine of his top 10 scoring games are away from Tempe.
JAHII CARSON'S TOP 10 SCORING GAMES (NINE OF THEM AWAY FROM TEMPE)
40 at UNLV (11/19/13)
34 vs. Stanford @P12/LVegas (3/13/13)
32 at Washington (2/2/13)
30 vs. #14 Creighton @LVegas (11/24/12)
29 at California (1/29/14)
28 at Oregon (3/4/14)
26 vs. Stanford (2/26/14)
25 at Washington St. (1/31/13)
24 at Oregon St. (3/8/14)
24 at Stanford (2/1/14)
20 AND COUNTING: ASU has its fifth 20-win season under Coach Sendek in his eight years. In the previous 25 seasons (1981-82 to 2005-06) it had three (20-10 in 1989-90 and 24-9 in 1994-95 under Bill Frieder and 20-12 in 2002-03 under Rob Evans). Local guy Jahii Carson has helped turn around his hometown program, as ASU was 22-40 (.355) in the two seasons prior to him but is now 43-23 (.652) in the past two years.
RPI: ASU enters this week No. 37 in the NCAA official RPI and has four top-50 wins, nine top-100 wins and another two top-100 wins close. ASU only played the two teams at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings (USC and UW) once and has eight top-100 wins over Arizona (1), Oregon (25), Colorado (31), Stanford (43), California (55 2x), Utah (73), Marquette (85) and Oregon State (95). ASU also has wins over top-100 striking distance teams UC Irvine (106), and UNLV (108).
REVISITING JERMAINE VS. UA: All senior graduate transfer Jermaine Marshall seems to do is hit big shots and come up big when the Sun Devils need it most, and his game vs. Arizona on Valentine's Day was epic and earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week. In leading ASU to its highest win over a ranked opponent at home in school history, Marshall had 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting (4-of-8 from the three-point stripe). He kept ASU in it early with 12 first-half points and then was rock solid in the second overtime with eight points. He made a three-pointer with 1:34 left and ASU down four, then tied it with a three-pointer with 58 seconds left. With ASU down one he made a driving layup with 14 seconds left that would be the game winner in the 69-66 double overtime victory.
CLOSE GAME NUGGET: If the game is close, ASU has been good, as it is 5-2 in games decided by five points or less and 3-1 in overtime this season and 13-6 in free basketball games under Coach Sendek.
DANG GOOD HOME SEASON: ASU closed one of the best home seasons in 40-year history of Wells Fargo Arena last weekend, as ASU finished 16-1 on Ned Wulk Court and won eight straight Pac-12 home games after dropping the opener vs. Washington back on Jan. 2. Since the building opened in 1974-75, ASU had just two seasons with one or no losses prior to this season. It opened the building with 14 straight wins in 1974-75 and in 1980-81 it went 14-1 at home with dudes named Byron Scott, Fat Lever and Alton Lister. The Sun Devils also tied the school record for home wins with 2009-10 and 2012-13 (16-4).
SUN DEVIL BEST HOME SEASONS AT WELLS FARGO ARENA (1974-75 TO PRESENT)
CONFERENCE TOURNEY: Herb Sendek is 20-20 in 20 years of conference tournament action. He went 13-10 (.565) in his ten years at NC State, 4-3 (.571) in three years at Miami (Ohio) and is 3-7 (.300) at ASU...in first-round action, he is 13-7 (.650)...8-2 at NCSU, 3-0 at Miami and 2-5 at ASU...Wolfpack became first team to knock off No. 1 seed in ACC Tournament in consecutive years when it beat second-ranked Maryland (2002) and ninth-ranked Wake Forest (2003)...ASU is 6-15 (.286) in the Pac-10 Tournament...since tournament returned in 2002, ASU has gone 2-9 in first-round games and 3-11 overall.
BLOCK----CHYNSKI!: Jordan Bachynski, the nation's leading shot blocker with 131 (4.23 pg), is blocking one of every 14.1 opponent FGAs. In the first three seasons of his career (89 games), he averaged 6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.03 blocks. This season he is at 11.4 ppg., 8.4 rpg and 4.23 bpg. Jordan has 12 double-doubles after entering the season with five (89 games). With 312 career blocks he is now the Pac-12 record holder, topping Anthony Cook of Arizona (278 from 1985-89) and his 131 blocks broke his Pac-12-season record from last year of 120.
MOST SUN DEVIL DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN PAC-10/12 ERA (1978-79 TO PRESENT)
Ike Diogu, Jr., 2004-05, 15
Carrick Felix, Sr., 2012-13, 13
Kurt Nimphius, Sr., 1979-80, 13
Jordan Bachynski, Sr., 2013-14, 12
Alton Lister, Sr., 1980-81, 12
THE BLOCK STAT: Jordan Bachynski with his Pac-12 record 128 blocks is blocking one of every 14.1 opponent shots and one of every 10.27 two-point attempts.
SUN DEVIL SINGLE-GAME BLOCKS
12-Jordan Bachynski vs. Cal State Northridge, Dec. 8, 2012
9-Jordan Bachynski vs. Oregon (2/8/14)
9-Jordan Bachynski vs. Colorado (1/6/13)
9-Jordan Bachynski vs. Central Arkansas (11/10/12)
JORDAN AT THE LINE: Jordan Bachynski entered the Pac-12 season 180-of-318 (.567) from the free throw line. Since Pac-12 tipped, he is 66-of-88 (.7650) at the charity stripe.
RANDOM STATS: ASU is 7-1 this year when Jon Gilling scores a dozen, its only loss was at Oregon State on March 8 when he had 20...ASU is 21-1 when it shoots better from the field than the opponent and 0-9 when it doesn't...ASU 8-0 this year, 16-1 the past two years and 64-9 (.877) under Coach Sendek when it shoots 50 percent from the field...ASU has allowed only three teams to shoot 50 percent against it, and it is 0-3 in those games.
WALK OFF BLOCKS: Three times this season Jordan Bachynski has blocked a potential shot near the buzzer to prevent an overtime or win. Against No. 25 Marquette on Nov. 25, his walk-off block gave ASU the 79-77 win. On Feb. 8 vs. Oregon, he swatted away Joseph Young's layup at the buzzer that would have tied it in the 74-72 win. On Feb. 14, he blocked T.J. McConnell's runner in the lane with ASU up one that led to a Jahii Carson runout dunk and the 69-66 win over #2 Arizona.
PAC-12 SINGLE SEASON BLOCKS (YES, SUN DEVILS 1-2-3)
1. 131, Jordan Bachynski, ASU, 2013-14
2. 120, Jordan Bachynski, ASU, 2012-13
3. 115, Mario Bennett, ASU, 1994-95
EJ IMPROVING: Sophomore Eric Jacobsen was 26-of-51 (.509) from the free throw line in his career entering the Arizona game on Jan. 16, but has made 14-of-19 (.737) since. He had a season-high seven points and matched season-highs in minutes (20) and rebounds (six) in the Jan. 29 overtime win at California and posted six boards and five points in 20 minutes vs. Stanford on Feb. 26 in the 76-64 Sun Devil win.