Devil’s Country – ASU Sports Report

March 6, 2008

Quack Off Oregon

Now that the USC fans are finally about done crying about the officiating, it time to hit the hardwood once again.  Tonight the Devils have the first of two in Oregon.  The Ducks are easily beatable and this game falls under the should win category for ASU, but you can never rule out a team, playing at home, at the end of a season, with NCAA Tournament hopes.  The Devils can basically clinch a spot in the big dance with a win tonight, while the Ducks need to capture the voters attention with a sweep this weekend and a run in the Pac-10 Tournament. 

 Devils’ Keys to the Game:  Get Pendergraph involved early…the longer it takes to get him going, the less likely he will contribute.  Harden, Harden, and Harden…can we get him to take more shots this game?  He rarely shoots more than he has to, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see him take 15 to 18 shots tonight.  Lastly, get someone else to contribute from the outside…I don’t care who it is.  It could be Glasser, Abbott, Kuksiks, Shipp, McMillen, or Polk, just someone needs to be the third option and sink a few open shots. 

I still can’t believe this one isn’t on TV in Arizona. 

March 5, 2008

March Madness Awaits

According to Espn.com – Bracketology, currently the Devils are slotted as the 10 seed in the west facing off against BYU.  A second round match-up against Kansas awaits them next.  If the miracle on ice repeats itself, but with ASU and a basketball, they would then likely face off against the likes of Georgetown or Clemson.  Following two upsets, Cinderella, aka the Sun Devils, would have a rematch shot at UCLA.  Why stop there?  I might be dreaming by now, but the Final Four match-up would slot the Devils in a showdown with one of either Memphis, Texas, or Wisconsin, who headline the South region.  On to the championship I say…lets see…there is Duke, Tennessee, North Carolina and perhaps Xavier.  Wait a tick, didn’t we already handle them quite easily this year?

My point is that ASU is tested and primed to make a historic run.  Why not the Devils?  It all starts with a couple wins this weekend in Oregon to ensure not just a spot in the NCAA tournament, but a seed that elevates our chances of making the “Run heard ’round the world.” (or so I will call it)

March 3, 2008

Tournament Bound?

The Sun Devils made their case a little bit stronger with last weekends convincing win over USC.  OJ Mayo looked like the superstar he is, but James Harden and company for the Devils played another solid defensive game.  Not to mention the offense had some shining moments for the Devils.  They got a few shots to fall in a row that helped pull out a 20 point lead at one point.  Give credit to the Trojans (aka OJ Mayo) for the comeback attempt, but ASU put them in too deep of a hole. 

Harden continues to amaze me with the nonchalant approach that somehow turns into around 20 each game.  How many other freshmen out there are shooting above 50%? 

Two games are all that remain in the regular season.  Oregon and Oregon State on the road is all that stands in the way for the Devils and a trip to the big dance.  If they win both, they will be tournament bound for the first time since Ike Diogu donned the maroon and gold.  If they stumble at all in the next two, they are going to have to make a loud splash in the Pac-10 Tournament, perhaps having to win it all. 

It seems like forever since I have felt confident about getting to the big show.  A duck and a beaver are all that stands in our way.  Two wins this weekend gives us a nice little win streak going into the post-season.  Anything can happen once you get there.

February 25, 2008

Devils Get the “Must Win” Game Saturday

I felt going into Saturday’s game, that the Devils had to win in order to stay alive with the NCAA Tournament committee.  Not only did they win, but they looked good doing it.  It has been a while since the Devils have had a nice convincing win. 

As I have said all year, when the outside shots fall, we are one tough team to beat.  Glasser, Abbott, Kuk, and Shipp got it going against the Huskies.  We can always count on Harden putting up some numbers.  Pendergraph has been hit and miss this year, so the focus going into the last four games has to be the outside shot. 

Next on the list of big time upsets for the Devils, UCLA.  Thursday at home is a game that can put us into an elite category in terms of big time wins against top tier opponents.  It might be a long shot in wishing for a win like that.  Then Saturday the Devils will host USC before finishing up the Pac-10 with the Oregon schools. 

Just two out of the next four should stamp our resume into the NCAA tournament.  Regardless of what happens, Herb has done a masterful job with this team and has put Sun Devil basketball back on the map.

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