March 15, 2009

ASU men, women head to NCAA tourney

Posted: March 15, 2009

For the first time, ASU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed to the NCAA basketball tournament in the same year.

Both teams will kick off competition with a No. 6 seed. The men’s tournament field was announced March 15 and the women’s on March 16.

The men earned their No. 6 seed in the South region of the tournament after finishing the season 24-9 and 11-7 in the Pac-10 – tied for third, its best Pac-10 finish since 1994-1995. The team will take on the No. 11 seeded Temple University Owls (22-11) of the Atlantic 10 Conference in first-round action of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Friday, March 20 in Miami, Florida. It is the men’s first NCAA appearance since 2003.

"We are very excited to be in the field and I know we play an outstanding Temple team," says ASU coach Herb Sendek, "a team that's playing terrific basketball right now having just won the Atlantic 10 Championship. I've known Coach Dunphy for a long time and have tremendous respect for him."

The women earned a No. 6 seed in the Trenton region of the tournament after finishing 23-8 overall and 15-3 in the Pac-10 – tied for second. The team will take on No. 11 seeded Georgia Saturday, March 21 in Duluth, Georgia. The women’s team is making its fifth straight NCAA appearance and seventh in the last nine years.

ASU’s men have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1979-80 team went 22-7 and the 1980-81 team went 24-4. ASU has posted 24 wins for the first time since the 1994-95 team went 24-9 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.

With 23 wins this season the Sun Devil women have now won 20 or more games seven times in the last nine seasons, including the last five in a row. Earlier this season the Sun Devils established a new program record for consecutive wins with 15, including a 63-41 win over then-No. 9 California on March 5.

With its final Pac-10 record of 15-3 the ASU women have won 82 percent (59-13) of its Pac-10 contests since the 2005-06 season. ASU’s 15 Pac-10 wins this season represent the second-highest total in school history. Including this season, the Sun Devil women are 125-41 (.753) since 2004-05.