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Sun Devil Sweet 16 Tournament Round 1: Adam Archuleta Vs. Juan Roque

Legendary offensive tackle Juan Roque (Photo: ASU)
Legendary offensive tackle Juan Roque (Photo: ASU)

The Sun Devil Sweet 16 tournament has reached the final match of the first round. There are several terrific battles going on, as well as a few blowouts. If you've missed any of the previous match-ups, go here and vote for your favorite Sun Devil to advance.

Now, to the task at hand.

Gold Region - First Round

#2 seed Adam Archuleta vs. #3 seed Juan Roque

The Case for Archuleta

The mid-to-late 1990s were a golden era for the undersized/overachieving defender. First, there was the legendary Pat Tillman. Then, during Tillman's Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year season in 1997, he was joined by his the man who would become his successor.

Nailing down a starting spot in 1998, Archuleta was a dynamic playmaking force all over the field. As a junior in 1999, he earned first team All Pac-10 honors, thanks to 111 tackles, 21 for loss and five sacks.

He was even better as a senior. Archuleta repeated as a first team All Pac-10 performer, but he, like Tillman just three years prior, also took home the prestigious Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award

The Case for Roque

The strength of ASU's great 1996 team was along the offensive line, and the strength of that line was tackle Juan Roque.

Roque was already a dominant force for the Sun Devils, having taken home first team All Pac-10 honors in 1995. However, Roque took his game to another level the following year. Anchoring the offensive line, he helped pave the way for Terry Battle's 18 rushing touchdowns, and he kept the opposing pass rush off of Jake Plummer so he could have a Heisman finalist season.

For his remarkable efforts, Roque took home another first team All Pac-10 spot, was named a consensus All-American and was a finalist for the Lombardi Awards and Outland Trophy.

Be sure to vote for your favorite in this, and the other first round matches. The voting closes Sunday at 2pm PST, when the winners and Elite Eight will be revealed.