Round of 32
Region 2: On The Court & Ice
No. 4 "Carrick Felix's Block Against UCLA" vs. No. 5 "Faiz Khan's U of A Winner"
The case for Carrick Felix: Technically speaking, Carrick Felix's block of Jordan Adams on January 26 was meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It didn't affect the outcome of the outcome of the game in the slightest with Arizona State's 78-60 win over the UCLA Bruins being all but final. But those who remember the vindictive swat will tell you differently.
As time expired in ASU's first 15+ point victory over UCLA since 2003, Adams pulled a punk move, stealing the ball and breaking for the rim after it seemed the Bruins had waved the white flag. The rest of the Sun Devils seemed fine with allowing Adams to pad his stats but not Carrick. The athletic swingman instantly broke into a sprint after Adams and then unleashed one of the cleanest, meanest blocks in the history of ASU basketball.
Sure, the block didn't change anything but it did send a message to the rest of the Pac-12. In the matter of one wicked motion, Felix made sure that the rest of the conference knew that these Sun Devils weren't to be messed with. -Cody Ulm
The case for Faiz Khan: 32. That's the number that sticks in the minds of college hockey fans in the state of Arizona. For Sun Devil fans, the number of consecutive victories against their rivals brings about feelings of pride and superiority. For Wildcat fans, the number of consecutive losses is a painful reminder of how many devastating finishes their team has suffered.
In the Sun Devils' first trek down to Tucson this year, "the streak" stood still in time. The Wildcats put together one of their best defensive efforts of the season, and Arizona State could not seem to find any offensive rhythm. For the better part of two and a half periods, it was Arizona dominating the juggernaut. However, a gutsy performance from goalie Joe D'Elia kept the Sun Devils in the game and the score tied 1-1.
With the streak truly in jeopardy, Arizona State needed a hero. And Faiz Khan stepped up. One of many new faces playing in a hostile environment for the first time in his Sun Devil career, Khan appeared an unlikely source for a game-winner. Regardless, he let his play do the talking. With less than 10 minutes to play, Khan stole a pass from a Wildcat defensemen, deked his man, and delivered the game-winning goal that propelled the Sun Devils to victory. As a forward, Khan took a risk by not settling in on defense and putting pressure on the Cats up the ice. But as Arizona has shown time and time again, the Wildcats just can't seem to handle the pressure. -Kerry Crowley