Pac-12: Arizona State can become NCAA-worthy
Published: March 14, 2013 10:25AM
Updated: March 14, 2013 10:26AM

To make a point about how much the level of Pac-12 basketball competition has increased, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said he wishes his current team could have played against last year's opponents.

Of course, the Utes are not the only ones who have improved. The conference is almost universally expected to send five teams to the NCAA Tournament, with potential for a sixth bid.

That's where today's Arizona State-UCLA quarterfinal game in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas becomes intriguing. If the Sun Devils win, they'll enhance their credentials as that possible sixth entrant.

ASU beat UCLA 78-60 at home and lost 79-74 in Los Angeles in the regular season. The Sun Devils (21-11) will need another big effort from freshman Jahii Carson, who scored 34 points in Wednesday's 89-88 overtime win against Stanford.