I do this to myself every year. I get all worked up because the Sun Devils finish the season on a strong note, only to watch them lose to Stanford in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles.
In 2010, ASU was the second-ranked team in the Pac-10. A win against Stanford would likely catapult them into strong consideration for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Rather than put up an epic performance, Derek Glasser and company fizzled out, losing 70-61 and falling into the NIT.
In 2011, the Sun Devils had finished a tough campaign with a home sweep of the Oregon schools. In two games, they had outscored the Ducks and the Beavers by 34 points. Everyone was hopeful that Arizona State would be able to win another against Oregon.
Instead, they put together a pitiful game, losing 76-69 and finishing their year 12-18.
2012 brought the promise of Jahii Carson. After being sidelined due to academic ineligibility, ASU suffered all year long and was 8-20 before rattling off consecutive wins at home against USC and the hated Arizona Wildcats.
The Sun Devils scored 87 points and looked like a cohesive unit against their rivals. Can they do the same thing against the Stanford Cardinal, who are 20-10 on the season? It will be tough to stop Chasson Randle, a freshman guard who has averaged 18.6 points per game over his last three outings.
One way or the other, it's nice to have a glimmer of hope going into the Pac-12 Tournament after a brutal season. All we can do now is cheer for the men in maroon and gold.