Yesterday it was Colby Woodmansee (75%) earning the first spot in the semifnials of our #SunDevilMoments series with a victory over ASU Hockey earning NCAA status (25%). Here is how the bracket stands as of now.
Today's matchup features an ASU football overtime victory against the biggest upset ASU basketball pulled all season.
In February 7 inside Wells Fargo Arena, Arizona's basketball team suffered a severe case of déjà vu. Exactly 51 weeks before, the No. 2 Wildcats came into Tempe and had the court rushed on them twice in a heartbreaking, double overtime loss on Valentine's night.
A repeat of that upset in the 2015 campaign seemed unlikely. Once again, Sean Miller's team had the makings of one that was going to take home the Pac-12 title, while Arizona State entered the contest with a sour record of 3-6 in conference play.
Morale was not helped by the fact that the Wildcats had destroyed its rival, 73-49, a month earlier in Tucson. Pulling the shocker for a second straight year was not going to be impossible, but it certainly did not seem likely.
Someone forgot to tell the Sun Devils that.
After falling behind into an early 23-16 deficit, the maroon and gold locked down the explosive Wildcat offense and ended up taking a seven point advantage into the locker room. The second half was fraught with tension, both teams being able to take hits and respond with big shot after big shot.
The turning point came with just under 90 seconds remaining, when Brandon Ashley blew a layup that would have pulled Arizona within two points. Both teams fought hard for the rebound, but Arizona State ended up earning possession via a jump ball. Sharpshooter Bo Barnes was able to complete a five point swing on the other end of the floor, burying the three-pointer seen in the image above to put his team up by seven.
The final minute of the game seemed to last an eternity thanks to timeouts, fouls, and various other stoppages, but the closest the visitors would ever get was within three. A T.J. McConnell triple with less than a second left made the score 81-78, but its meaning was moot. Moments later, the 942 crew stormed the court for a second straight year, leaving Arizona's players and fans in stunned disbelief.
Yes, lighting had struck twice.
Barnes led the Sun Devils with 18 points off the bench, none of which were more important than the late three that ended up putting the dagger into the Wildcats. Forward Savon Goodman put together a tremendous afternoon consisting of 15 points and nine rebounds, and he was joined by two other players in double figures.
Typically, homecoming heroes are recognized as being quarterbacks or other position players that throw, carry or catch the ball in the end zone for six points.
The Deer Park, Texas, native tallied 13 of the Sun Devils' 19 points on the night, propelling ASU to a 19-16 overtime win over the No. 17 Utah Utes. He nailed four of five field goals during the game, including the 36-yard game-winner in overtime.
Gonzalez, who entered the game having converted 10 of 12 attempts, outperformed Utes kicker Andy Phillips, who entered having made 87 percent of his attempts coming in.
In quarterback Taylor Kelly's second game back under center, the Sun Devils offense sputtered on multiple drives, but were unable to punch the ball into the end zone, calling on Gonzalez for kicks from 20, 45 and 50 yards (his only miss of the night).
A surge to open the third would give the Utes the advantage in the third quarter before Gonzalez field goal from 30 yards notched the game at 16 a piece.
In the overtime frame, the offenses continued to struggle moving the ball. Utah had first possession, but had to settle for a field goal. Despite having already hit from 50, 36 and 44 yards, Phillips missed twice from 35 yards out; once before a timeout to try and freeze him, then on the ensuing attempt that counted.
This gave Gonzalez the chance to win the game for ASU, and he would do so, knocking down a 36-yard attempt to extend the Sun Devils' winning-streak to four games.
The win placed ASU back in control of its destiny in the Pac-12 South again, and propelled the team into the top ten of the Associated Press poll entering their match up with No. 10 Notre Dame.
The Sun Devils close shave over the Utes was one of the most dramatic moments of the ASU athletics year.