Arizona State (20-11) vs. Stanford (18-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 13, 3:06 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (13,151) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: Pac-12 Networks. Home Record: ASU 15-4, Stanford 11-5. Away Record: ASU 4-6, Stanford 5-6. Neutral Record: ASU 1-1, Stanford 2-2. Conference Record: ASU 9-9, Stanford 9-9. Series Record: Stanford leads, 44-30.
GAME NOTES: Fresh after being named the Co-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Jahii Carson looks to guide the ninth-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils to an upset of the eighth-seeded Stanford Cardinal in the first round of the 2013 Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The winner of this first-round matchup advances to take on top-seeded UCLA.
Arizona State made a big turnaround this season with Carson pacing the squad. After going 10-21 in 2011-12, the Sun Devils improved to finish the regular season with a 20-11 record despite losing four in a row to close out the campaign. ASU fell to Washington, UCLA, USC and Arizona in its last four appearances which dropped it to a 9-9 mark in Pac-12 action.
Carson shared the league's Freshman of the Year award with Shabazz Muhammad, who was one of the most heralded recruits in the nation. Carson averages 17.7 points and 5.0 assists per tilt. Senior forward Carrick Felix (14.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 44 3-pointers) has been a perfect complement, with his ability to contribute both inside and out. Junior guard Evan Gordon (10.2 ppg) and junior center Jordan Bachynski (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.7 bpg) add depth both in the backcourt and frontcourt, respectively. Gordon is the younger brother of the New Orleans Hornets star Eric Gordon. Bachynski needs only two more rejections to tie Mario Bennett (115) for the school's all-time single season block record. Jonathan Gilling is the team's top sharpshooter with 70 makes from beyond the arc.
These teams met just once this season. Stanford narrowly escaped with a 62-59 win.
Johnny Dawkins's Cardinal closed out the regular season with momentum as they took down Utah, 84-66, and California, 83-70, in their final two appearances of the campaign. Stanford completed first season sweep of Cal since 2008 as Chasson Randle tallied 20 points and Josh Huestis scored 18 points. Stanford will be looking to regain its composure from the regular season finale, which needed to be stopped for 10 minutes in the second half after a shoving match resulted in six technical fouls and five total ejections.
Dwight Powell is netting a team-high 15.3 ppg and Randall is close behind at 14.1 ppg. Josh Huestis is also a regular contributor of 10.2 points and 9.4 boards per game. In three career games against Arizona State, Randle is averaging 15.6 points while shooting 14-27 (51.8 percent) from the field with nine 3-pointers and eight assists. Much of that damage was done in last year's Pac-12 Tournament, when Randle poured in 30 points (27 of which came in a record-setting first half).
This first-round matchup could go either way as it features a pair of very evenly matched teams. Stanford has been streaky all season long and Arizona State will be seeking to avenge its season-ending loss from a year ago. Carson's first appearance in postseason action will give him a chance to confirm his status as a big-time player.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 66, Stanford 65
03/13 11:11:23 ET