Yesterday it was our No. 1 seed, the Jael Mary, cruising to the Final Four with a 89-11 victory over the hiring of Bobby Hurley. Here is how the semifinals are shaping up?
Today's matchup pits two huge ASU victories against each other, football's victory over Notre Dame and basketball's victory over Arizona.
It was one of the biggest games being played at Sun Devil Stadium in a long time. Thousands filled the stands and dozens of high level recruits filled the sidelines to watch at battle of top 10 teams in the desert. It was No. 10 Notre Dame and No. 9 Arizona State in a crucial non-conference battle.
After allowing an early field goal, the Sun Devils exploded for 34 straight points in the first half. Taylor Kelly threw two touchdown passes and Damarious Randall intercepted an Everett Golson pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown, leading ASU to a 34-10 lead into halftime.
The wheels fell off a bit early in the second half, as the Fighting Irish scored 21 straight points to pull within 34-31 with just over six minutes to play. ASU responded with a five-play, 75-yard drive in just over two minutes, capped by a Demario Richard 4-yard touchdown reception to give ASU a 41-31 left.
With the Irish driving to try to close the gap, Lloyd Carrington picked off Golson and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown. The Sun Devils added a late score and won the game by a final score of 55-31.
D.J. Foster finished with one of his best days on the ground, carrying the football 21 times for 120 yards. Taylor Kelly went 17/28 for 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The swarming Sun Devil defense forced five turnovers and scored two touchdowns of their own.
The victory over Notre Dame was ASU's signature victory last year and propelled ASU to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff Poll when it was released on November 11 of last year.
On 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.