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Arizona State’s loss does not bode well for Pacific 10

Stanford beats Sun Devils, 70-61, and the early exit probably keeps them from getting an at-large bid into NCAA tournament.

March 11, 2010

Arizona State, and the Pacific 10 Conference, may have seen NCAA tournament hopes damaged Thursday.

The Sun Devils, who were trying to strengthen their postseason resume, left the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament early, losing to Stanford, 70-61, in the quarterfinals at Staples Center.

Jeremy Green scored 18 points and Landry Fields 17 to put the Cardinal into Friday's semifinal against Washington.

Arizona State (22-10) finished second in the Pac-10 but probably needed to reach the conference tournament final to lock down an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

The Sun Devils "marquee" nonconference victories were over San Diego State, which finished tied for third in the Mountain West Conference, and UC Santa Barbara, the co-champions of the Big West Conference. Arizona State has a 0-3 record against teams currently ranked in the top 25.

"I don't know how anybody can know what their chances are, they change hourly," Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek said. "Obviously, the more you win, the better your chances. Hopefully, our Pac-10 regular season will carry a lot of weight."

Arizona State's loss could limit the Pac-10 to only one team in the NCAA tournament should regular-season champion California win the conference tournament.

Stanford (14-17) took control of the game with a 19-5 blitz for a 50-35 lead with 11:41 left in the game. Green and Fields both scored eight points during the run.

The Cardinal shot 55% from the field. Arizona State shot 39%.

Stanford led by as many as nine points early in the game, but was up by just one, 29-28, at halftime.

Rihards Kuksiks kept Arizona State from being buried. He scored 10 of his team's first 12 points.

Kuksiks had 15 points in the first half. The rest of the Sun Devils had 13. But Kuksiks did not score in the second half and no one on the Sun Devils stepped up to apply consistent pressure.

Washington 59, Oregon State 52: The third-seeded Huskies trailed by nine at halftime, but guard Isaiah Thomas made several key three-pointers and helped Washington (22-9) advance.

Thomas finished with 15 points on a night when star forward Quincy Pondexter had only nine.

Oregon State pulled to within 49-47 with about five minutes left, but Thomas made a three-pointer and the Huskies held on.

Times staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.

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