After all, it's only natural.
If I'm going down, I'm taking you with me. It's one of humanity's baser instincts. Misery loves company and all that.
Add in an element of true hatred, and, wow...that sentiment is outright palpable.
There is no escaping the fact that the 2011-2012 season for Arizona State's men's basketball team has been a disaster. A 9-20 record...ugly. An offense that ranks 320th in the nation in scoring? Ick.
On the other hand are the mighty Arizona Wildcats, for whom an annual berth in the NCAA tournament is a near given. The Wildcats had trounced the Sun Devils earlier in the year 68-51, and a similar outcome seemed likely.
It's a familiar situation--one half of a bitter rivalry is on their way to bigger and better things, while the other can only hope to play the spoiler.
Given the level of hatred, one thought immediately sprang to mind as this game wore on: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Yes, really. Here's why.
For the uninitiated (shame on you, and...spoilers ahead), it pits Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise against an old and vicious enemy, Khan.
Yada, yada, yada, a lot of space stuff happens, and at the end, Khan lays dying on the bridge of his devastated ship, while the Enterprise is limping away, heavily damaged. Khan (for our purposes, playing the role of ASU) knows this is his end, but his hatred for Kirk (U of A) means he'll try to his last breath to take his mortal enemy with him. He activates a superweapon, hoping to blow up Kirk and the Enterprise with him. Well, since it's a major movie franchise, that can't happen, Spock saves the day, and Khan blows up alone.
I fully expected Sunday's match-up to follow that course. Nothing the Sun Devils had done all year suggested that they could pull off the upset. No way, no how. Sure, I hoped to all hell I was wrong, but c'mon...really?
Yet, the Devils hung around. They were within six at the half. Then, something amazing happened.
The same team that earlier in the season scored eight points in a half, caught fire. Shooting 60% in the second half, the Devils pulled close...and then ahead. By the end of the game, the Wildcats were gassed and ASU emerged with a shocking 87-80 victory that severely damaged Arizona's tournament hopes.
In other words, Khan rewrote fictional history and took down the Enterprise with him to a bitter end.
Fork 'em, Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!
The Devils now face Stanford Wednesday night in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Follow me on Twitter @BDenny29 for the latest on ASU sports