Men's Hoops Plays At UNLV Thursday In NIT At 9 p.m. PT

March 13, 2005

The Arizona State University men's basketball team(18-13) will play at UNLV in the firstround of the National Invitational Tournament on Thursday, March 17,at 9 p.m. PT/10 p.m. MST on ESPN2. The winner of the ASU/UNLV game will play the winner of the Miami (Fla.)/South Carolina game, with the date and site TBD. The matchup also has ASU sophomore guard Kevin Kruger competing against his father Lon, the first-year UNLV coach.

A win would give ASU its sixth 19-win campaign in the past 22 seasons (and third under Rob Evans) while two more wins will mark 20 wins for just the fourth time in 20 years (second time under Evans).

The Sun Devils, who tied Washington State for sixth in the Pac-10 at 7-11, are on a four-game skid (including two losses to a NCAA No. 1 seed, Washington), but two of those losses were decided by game-winning shots in the closing seconds (57-55 at Washington State on Feb. 26 and 70-68 vs. #11 Arizona on March 5), another was a three-point game at the 1:00 mark at #13 Washington (a 90-82 loss on Feb. 24) and the most recent defeat was a 95-90 overtime loss in the Pac-10 Tournament to #14 Washington on March 10.

All-American Ike Diogu is averaging 25.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and39.1 minutes in the past 10 games and became the second Sun Devil toearn Pac-10 Player of the Year (Eddie House in 1999-2000 was theother) and also earned All-Pac-10 honors for the third time in hiscareer.

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