The ASU Sun Devils basketball team had an opportunity to make the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history on March 14, but came up short in a play-in game against the Syracuse Orange. At one point in the second half, the Sun Devils held a 49-42 advantage over Syracuse, but ultimately lost 60-56. Trailing 58-56 in the waning moments of the game, ASU had an opportunity to tie the game, but Shannon Evans III's shot from the corner of the floor hit the back rim and the rebound was collected by Syracuse's Frank Howard, who hit a pair of free throws to seal the game for the Orange. Conversely, ASU missed seven of 10 free throws throughout the course of the game.
The 2017-18 season started out promising for the Sun Devils as the team won their first 12 games before dropping six of their next 10. They also lost five of their last six games prior to the play-in game against Syracuse. The Sun Devils last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, when they lost 87-85 against Texas in the first round.