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ASU Moment of the Year round of 16: No. 1 Football wins the South vs. No. 16 Water Polo in NCAA tournament

The gridiron vs. the pool

Todd Graham and the ASU football team are favored in this matchup
Todd Graham and the ASU football team are favored in this matchup
Gene Sweeney Jr.

Seed No. 1: Football wins the Pac-12 South

Throughout the 21st century, Arizona State football has gained a reputation of not being able to take that next step into elite status. Didn't Arizona State have all the makings of a football powerhouse? Large school, great location, good recruiting territories, improving facilities, what was missing?

When Todd Graham was hired in December of 2012, he immediately began talking championships. In his second season, he delivered a Pac-12 South championship when the Sun Devils went on the road and defeated the UCLA Bruins.

It was a game contested on Nov. 23, 2013 between the two preseason favorites in the South. It was a high scoring affair from the start, with the teams combining for 24 points after the first quarter.

In the second, the Sun Devils began to distance themselves from the Bruins thanks to a Carl Bradford pick-six and a Jaelen Strong touchdown reception with five seconds left in the half. Arizona State led 35-13 at halftime.

However, UCLA crept back in the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Sun Devils 14-3 in the third frame to pull within 11 with 15 minutes to play. With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Brett Hundley found Shaquelle Evans on a 27-yard touchdown pass to pull UCLA within five (two-point conversion failed).

In the final minutes of the game, the key plays went the Sun Devils way and thanks to a missed field goal by the Bruins and a crucial sack by Chris Young in the redzone, the Sun Devils came out on top by a score of 38-33. The Sun Devils had won the Pac-12 South and would be playing for a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Seed No. 16: Water Polo makes the NCAA tournament

It was a good for year for Arizona State athletics, from football and basketball all the way down to the smaller sports. It was even a historic year for the Arizona State water polo team.

The 2013 season was arguably the best season the team had ever had, including a No. 3 national rankings and falling just short of the NCAA tournament.

In 2014, the Sun Devils would not be denied. They were able to exceed the expectations they placed upon themselves in 2013, and landed in the program's first NCAA tournament.

They lost to Cal, then knocked off Indiana and UC Irvine to finish fifth nationally and went 2-1 in their tournament debut. Arizona State was led by junior goalkeeper E.B. Keeve, who recently won gold with the United States national team at the World League Super Finals in China.

Voting is now closed, football wins with 92 percent of the vote.