The Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team is the basketball team that represents Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, United States. The school’s team currently competes in the Pac-12 Conference.
The Arizona State Sun Devils have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 16 times, including 3 Elite Eights (1961, 1963, 1975). They have won 8 conference championships (four WAC, and 4 Border Conference) and finished in the final AP rankings seven times. The highest national ranking the Sun Devils have achieved is AP No. 3 under Bobby Hurley during the 2017–18 season and No. 3 under Ned Wulk during the 1980–81 season when the starting lineup included future NBA stars Byron Scott, Fat Lever, and Alton Lister.
Arizona State is currently led by head coach Bobby Hurley (five seasons), who replaced Herb Sendek. Sendek got the credit for bringing a “basketball atmosphere” and level of excitement to Arizona State that had been absent for years. In his first four seasons at Arizona State, Sendek led the Sun Devils to three consecutive 20 win seasons, the 2009 Pac-10 conference tournament finals, and the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament and 2014 NCAA Tournament. Hurley, in turn, has taken the Sun Devils to the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Tournaments.
The Sun Devils earned a 3-seed and first-round bye in the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. They were scheduled to play Washington State when the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament was also subsequently canceled due to the pandemic. While the NCAA did not release seedings for the canceled tournament, the Sun Devils were projected by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi in his end-of-season “Braketology” to be a 9-seed. This would have been the first time since 1964 that the Sun Devils had made the tournament in three-straight years.
Thirty-six ASU Sun Devils took part in the NBA Draft. This includes six-time NBA All-Star James Harden, Byron Scott, Isaac Austin, Lafayette Lever, Alton Lister, Lionel Hollins, Sam Williams, Jeff Pendergraph, Stevin “Hedake” Smith, Mario Bennett, Tommy Smith, Ike Diogu, Eddie House, Freddie Lewis, and Joe Caldwell.
Arizona State vs Arizona
The Arizona–Arizona State men’s basketball rivalry rivalry between the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State University Sun Devils.
The rivalry dates to 1913, when the University of Arizona in Tucson played the Normal School of Arizona in Tempe. It later evolved into Arizona State University. Since becoming a University in December 5, 1958 Arizona leads ASU 72–56. Before both the schools were affiliated with a conference from 1913−30, Arizona led the series 24−4. During the Border Conference years from 1931−61, Arizona led 56−31. Upon joining the WAC conference from 1961−1978, Arizona State led that period 22−14. Since both schools joined the Pac-10 conference in the 1978–79 season Arizona led ASU 48–25 & upon adding 2 additional teams to form the Pac-12.
Arizona currently leads 12−6. Since Lute Olson took over as head coach for the 1983-84 season Arizona leads ASU 58–18. Since Sean Miller took over as head coach for the 2009–10 season Arizona leads 15–7. In 2010 Arizona State beat Arizona at home for the third straight time in the McKale Center. It was the first time this feat had been achieved by the Sun Devils since the 1981-82 season; Arizona has a 37–11 record at Mckale Center. On February 7, 2015 Arizona State upset the #6 Ranked Wildcats. They did this for the second straight year in Tempe, Arizona Leads ASU 24-21 at Wells Fargo Arena.