Round of 32
Region 2: On the Court and On the Ice
No. 1 "Evan Gordon's Buzzer-Beater" vs. No. 8 "Stephen Collins' Hat Trick Goal"
The Case for Evan: Question: can anyone remember screaming as much as they did after Evan Gordon's buzzer-beater during any other time of ASU's basketball season? Me neither.
Plain and simple, this was the most exhilarating moment in the roller coaster known as the 2012-2013 men's basketball season. Coming off two tormenting losses to Stanford and Utah, the Sun Devils desperately needed a strong win in Colorado to keep their slim tournament hopes alive. And after Jahii Carson sank two free throws with 1:19 left in the second half to build a six-point cushion, it looked as if they were going to get exactly that. Then Arizona State did what they seemed to do on the reg in 2012-2013 and entirely blew a comfortable lead in head-scratching fashion.
Once in overtime, the Devils and Buffaloes exchanged blows before Carrick Felix went to the line with a chance to build ASU's lead up to three with 24 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, Felix somehow missed both free throws and Colorado took the lead on the next possession thanks to a clutch jumper from Spencer Dinwiddie. Then, in one blur of a play, Carson dished out of the double team to Gordon who proceeded to drive to basket and release a running layup that could only be described as a prayer. Somehow, Gordon put just the right amount of touch on it to get a good bounce off the rim and sink the buzzer beater.
Sadly, as you all are well aware, the win didn't amount to much since the Devils still fell short of the big dance. But if you isolate and analyze this play on an individual basis, it might just be the most exciting ten second period in the entire year of Arizona State athletics. -Cody Ulm
The Case for Stephen: Let's face it, for Stephen Collins to pull off the upset here, the hockey fans are going to have to stuff the ballot box. This is the equivalent of a 16-seed taking on a 1-seed in the NCAA basketball tournament. We just don't expect to see upsets like this.
With that being said, let's take a moment to understand the beauty of Collins' goal. Though the Sun Devils had the game against Eastern Michigan well in hand, that doesn't change the fact that Collins displayed incredible creativity and finesse en route to a hat trick. After tallying two goals already on the night, the Sun Devil forward collected a pass just to the left of center ice and went to work.
Collins had to beat one defender and the goalie and he decided to do it the hard way. The freshman deked from left to right at an almost impossible angle before blowing past the defender. Then, with just inches separating the puck from the goalie's mitt, Collins flicked the puck into the upper left hand corner of the net for what will go down as the most impressive goal of ASU hockey's 2012-2013 season. - Kerry Crowley