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Sun Devil Sweet 16 Tournament Round 1: John Jefferson Vs. Ron Pritchard

Can legendary linebacker Ron Pritchard bring down John Jefferson? (Photo: ASU)
Can legendary linebacker Ron Pritchard bring down John Jefferson? (Photo: ASU)

The next match-up in the Sun Devil Sweet 16 Tournament is here.

With the Spark Region's first battle going on between No. 1 seed Danny White and No. 4 seed Derek Hagan, we move on to the 2/3 match-up.

Sparky Region - First Round

#2 seed John Jefferson vs. #3 seed Ron Pritchard

The Case For Jefferson

ASU's long history has presented countless memorable images. John Jefferson may just have the best...and most important. Jefferson was, of course, the man who made "The Catch," the spectacular leaping touchdown catch during the fierce battle between No. 8 ASU and No. 12 Arizona in 1975 with a Fiesta Bowl berth on the line.

In an era dominated by the running game, Jefferson was immensely productive. As a sophomore and as a senior he topped 50 receptions and 900 yards receiving. Over his four-year career, Jefferson made history by hauling in 188 passes for 2,993 yards, both school records that stood for nearly three decades.

He was a two-time All-WAC selection and a consensus All-American in his final season in 1977 before being the fourth overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft.

The Case For Pritchard

To recognize the impact of Pritchard, fans need only to look under the press boxes at Sun Devil Stadium to see his No. 52 hanging among the few retired numbers in program history.

During his career from 1966-1968, Pritchard was a dynamic defensive force, earning a spot on the All-WAC team every season. In 1968, while serving as team captain, Pritchard led the Devils in both tackles and interceptions, a season great enough to be named a consensus All-American honors, the first ASU Player to achieve such lofty honors.

He was the 15th overall selection in the 1969 NFL Draft and was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

So there you have it. The cases have been laid out, so now it's time to vote on who advances to the next round. Coming Wednesday morning: Woody Green vs. Zach Miller. Full bracket is here.