Who would have thought that the Arizona State Sun Devils could win an NCAA game with star James Harden held to just nine points?
Well, they just did, beating the Temple Owls in Miami by a score of 66-57 (we predicted a 62-57 ASU win in a blog post just before game time).
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Point guard Derek Glasser continued his late-season surge by scoring 22 points and doing a fine job of controlling the game's flow throughout Center Jeff Pendergraph also scored 22 and dominated the glass inside for ASU, which never trailed.
Harden, the fellow with the pretty jump shot in the photo, was overshadowed in a big way in this game by Temple's Dionte Christmas, who looks like a first-round NBA draft pick to these eyes. But the Devils' star will have another chance to show his stuff on a national stage on Sunday against the hot Syracuse Orange.
Like ASU, Syracuse is well-coached and plays very hard for 40 minutes. No quit in the Orange either, as witnessed by their epic six-overtime victory over UConn in the Big East postseason tourney last week.
Should be a good one. Winner goes to the Sweet 16, which for the Sun Devils -- mired in mediocrity as they've been for so long -- is a few steps short of heaven.