The Final Four
Matchup No. 1
No. 3 "Keelan Johnson's Forced Fumble" vs. No. 2 "ASU Hockey Upsets Penn State"
The Case for Keelan Johnson: In terms of timing, this Keelan Johnson's forced fumble might be Arizona State's greatest defensive play in the 21st century. The Sun Devils desperately needed a turnover with the clock in the final nine minutes and the Wildcats threatening to build their lead to two touchdown just inside the redzone. And no sooner than ESPN's shoddy play-by-play man said that Arizona State needs "to make a play and take the ball away," that's exactly what Johnson did.
Even factoring in Matt Scott's sheer stupidity, Johnson's strip tackle in itself was a thing of beauty. Johnson engaged Scott while the quarterback was leaping in the air but still had the piece of mind to keep him upright in order to go for the strip. And just before Scott's knee was set to hit the ground, Johnson yanked with all his weight and forced the ball loose.
The rest, well, is history. The momentum was firmly in the Sun Devils corner thanks to Johnson's turnover and they never relinquished it, scoring three unanswered touchdowns before the Wildcats could put up a garbage time score. Although most will remember Marion Grice being the MVP of this game, he's not in the position to do what he did if it wasn't for Johnson's heroics. -Cody Ulm
Round of 32: Defeated No. 6 seed "Kevin Ayers' Blocked Punt" with 73 percent of the total vote (57 votes to 21 votes).
Round of 16: Defeated No. 7 seed "Oso in the Crowd" with 56 percent of the total vote (33 votes to 26 votes).
Round of 8: Defeated No. 5 seed "Robert Nelson's Interception Return" with 71 percent of the total vote (35 votes to 14 votes).
The Case for ASU Hockey: In the world of college hockey, the Sun Devils' 3-1 victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions may have been the biggest upset of the year. The Sun Devils traveled to Happy Valley as enormous underdogs despite having won the first 18 games of their season. Penn State represented the first NCAA Division 1 opponent the Sun Devils would ever compete against. Furthermore, the Nittany Lions matriculated from the ACHA, where they won five titles before making the jump to the premier college circuit.
As if those odds weren't steep enough to overcome, the Nittany Lions roster was loaded with 18 scholarship players compared to 0 for the troop from Tempe. Nevertheless, Arizona State played with the passion, grittiness, and heart you would expect from a group of dreamers. When the final horn blew, the Sun Devils had outlasted the Nittany Lions behind a pair of goals from Kale Dolinski and an additional score from Faiz Khan.
The victory sent shock waves throughout the college hockey landscape, and put Arizona State on the map. It's no surprise that the Sun Devils landed the best recruiting class in program history after beating an NCAA opponent. The Penn State is a win that Sun Devil hockey fans will never forget, and it's a moment that figures to move deep into our bracket competition. - Kerry Crowley
Round of 32: Defeated No. 7 seed "Bowen's Empty-Netter vs. U of A" with 86 percent of the vote (19 votes to 3 votes).
Round of 16: Defeated No. 3 seed "ASU Hockey Wins 32 Straight Against U of A" with 83 percent of the vote (15 votes to 3 votes).
Round of 8: Defeated No. 4 seed "Carrick Felix's UCLA Block" with 59 percent of the vote (36 votes to 25 votes).