ASU Moment of the Year seed No. 7: ASU basketball makes NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It had been awhile since the Sun Devils made it to the big dance.

Next week House of Sparky will begin our "ASU Moment of the Year" tournament, with the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will randomly introduce all 16 moments, then reveal our seedings and match-ups next week, where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.

Arizona State hadn't made an NCAA tournament since 2009 coming into last season. The Sun Devil faithful had endured a tough stretch of mediocre basketball until last season when it all came back together for the maroon and gold.

The Sun Devils had the right combination of veterans, speed and size between Jahii Carson, Jermaine Marshall, Jordan Bachynski, Shaquielle McKissic, Eric Jacobsen, Jonathan Gilling and Bo Barnes.

The story lines of each player were easy to root for as well. The local blistering fast superstar who had overcome adversity academically, the veteran looking for a new start out west, a 7-foot-2, 25-year-old four year letterman who had improved tremendously during his time in Tempe, a JUCO transfer who had experienced homelessness, a foreigner who had a roller coaster season but seemed to come through at all the right time, the local kid who battled his way into the starting lineup and the little engine that could who fought his way into the rotation because of his grit and toughness.

They all came from extremely different backgrounds but found enough chemistry on the basketball court to beat No. 25 Marquette, No. 2 Arizona and head into the NCAA tournament as a No. 10 seed to play Texas. The result wasn't what the Sun Devils wanted or expected even though they were the higher seed.

It remains to be seen how many draft picks the Sun Devils had on this squad, but it certainly won't be a team that will be forgotten any time soon.

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