We were in Oklahoma City the last time the ASU men's basketball team took the floor in the wonderful event known to all as March Madness.
Led by Ike Diogu, the Sun Devils got stomped by a championship-level Kansas team in the second round after upsetting Memphis a few days earlier.
That would have been 2003, or six long years and a ton of missed jump shots ago (though the kid in the photo, point guard Derek Glasser, has gone a long way toward correcting that perennial problem for the Devils.)
Now, at last, ASU is back on the big stage and about to face the Temple Owls in a first-round NCAA game down in Miami (Florida, not Arizona).
The sixth-seeded Devils are not the type of team that usually blows out opponents, so expect a very tight, low-scoring contest that will go down to the last few minutes.
We are excited that, finally, much of the nation will get to see Pac-10 Conference player of the year James Harden do his thing. He is a marvelous player, and should shine on the big stage.
The game starts about noon and can be seen on KPHO, Channel 5. Prediction: ASU 67, Temple 62.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.