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Maroon Madness Final Four: No. 1 Phil Mickelson vs. No. 1 James Harden

Lefty vs. The Beard for a spot in the final. Who are you taking?

Golf Channel/Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports


Two men that are still going strong at there respective sports have been named one of the four best ASU athletes of all time. That’s pretty crazy — but then again, so are the accomplishments of Phil Mickelson and James Harden.

On their way to the Final Four, both men cruised through the first two rounds. In the Elite Eight, Mickelson defeated ASU football legend Jake Plummer with 80 percent of the vote and Harden handily got by Terrell Suggs with 74 percent.

Career-Defining Moment:

Mickelson (from Sweet Sixteen): While Mickelson has had several, by far the most defining moment is the one that introduced him to the world. For Phil, he gained national recognition before he went professional. It isn’t common for a golfer to be named National Collegiate Golfer of the year three times in a row. Only Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw have won it three times. Additionally, Mickelson didn’t win his first major until 13 years into his professional career. Now he is a World Golf Hall of Famer.

Harden (from Sweet Sixteen): This one’s easy. After leading the Houston Rockets to the best regular season record in the NBA and going out tough in the Western Conference Finals, Harden took home the NBA’s Most Valuable Player trophy this year. Although it’s contested that he wasn’t the most valuable player in the league, his numbers certainly show otherwise. This year, Harden put up 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.


Lefty’s Resume

Career stats
Career stats
ASU Career
Three-time Haskins Award winner
Four-time All-American
Three-time NCAA champion
Pro Career
2012 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee
9th-most PGA Tour victories (43)
Three time Master's winner - 2004, 2006, 2010
PGA Championship winner - 2005
The Open Championship winner - 2013

The Beard’s Resume

Career Stats
Career Stats
ASU Career:
2008-09 Consensus All-American
Wooden Award Finalist (2008-09)
2008-09 Pac-10 Conferenece Player of the Year
Scored 704 points in 2008-09 (1st in Pac-10 Conference)
No. 13 Jersey is retired
Drafted 3rd-overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder
Pro Career
Six-time NBA All-Star
4-time All NBA (3rd-Team 2012-13, 1st-team 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17)
2016-17 NBA Assists Leader
2017-18 NBA Scoring Champion
NBA MVP (2018)