Round of 8
Region 2: On the Court and On the Ice
No. 2 "ASU Hockey Stuns Penn State" vs. No. 4 "Carrick Felix's UCLA Block"
The Case for 'ASU Hockey Stuns Penn State': 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
The case for Carrick Felix: Technically speaking, Carrick Felix's block of Jordan Adams on January 26 was meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It didn't affect the outcome of the outcome of the game in the slightest with Arizona State's 78-60 win over the UCLA Bruins being all but final. But those who remember the vindictive swat will tell you differently.
As time expired in ASU's first 15+ point victory over UCLA since 2003, Adams pulled a punk move, stealing the ball and breaking for the rim after it seemed the Bruins had waved the white flag. The rest of the Sun Devils seemed fine with allowing Adams to pad his stats but not Carrick. The athletic swingman instantly broke into a sprint after Adams and then unleashed one of the cleanest, meanest blocks in the history of ASU basketball.
Sure, the block didn't change anything but it did send a message to the rest of the Pac-12. In the matter of one wicked motion, Felix made sure that the rest of the conference knew that these Sun Devils weren't to be messed with. -Cody Ulm