Trip down memory lane: Revisiting most memorable recent ASU sports moments

After ASU football's upset win over No. 6 Oregon, we looked back at some of the recent memorable moments in ASU athletics

Since 2017, ASU has periodically risen to national prominence with an impressive number of upset wins and unprecedented accomplishments across its athletic landscape. 

Punctuated by the football team's defeat of No. 6 Oregon last Saturday, the two-year run has produced some special moments in Tempe.

Here's a look back:

Oct. 14, 2017: ASU football defeats No. 5 Washington 

After the 2-3 Sun Devils lost their final six games and failed to appear in a bowl game the season prior, head coach Todd Graham seemed very much on the hot seat.

"We told ourselves for the past two weeks, ‘believe,"' ASU starting quarterback Manny Wilkins told the Associated Press. "We're underdogs. Nobody else is going to believe."

In a narrow 13-7 victory, the Sun Devils handed the Huskies their first loss of the season and ASU finished 7-6 in Graham's last season.

Dec. 10, 2017: ASU men's basketball shocks No. 2 Kansas in Lawrence

At the time, it was only the Jayhawks' 11th home loss since head coach Bill Self took over the program in 2003-04.

“I’ve never seen (Allen) Fieldhouse like that before,” said Kansas native and Blaze Radio broadcaster Tyler Henry, who called the game. “The crowd wasn’t angry; they were just absolutely stunned.”

Just 20 days later on Dec. 30, the Sun Devils became the last undefeated team in the country. 

At 12-0, ASU occupied the No. 3 spot in the AP Poll, its highest since 1981.

May 26, 2018: ASU softball reaches the Women’s College World Series

Hired following the 2016 season, it took ASU softball head coach Trisha Ford just two years to get the Sun Devils to college softball’s most prestigious stage.

Led by starting pitchers Giselle “G” Juarez and Breanna Macha, ASU finished 48-13 in its 2018 run to the College World Series, the Sun Devil's first trip since 2013.

“I would say that we kind of surprised a lot of people, I think, this year,” Ford said. “We just fight. We just keep fighting each pitch and really just -- yeah, I would just say tough and gritty.”

No. 6 ASU was knocked out by defending National Champion Oklahoma. 

Dec. 22, 2018: ASU men's basketball beats No. 1 Kansas in Tempe

A two-time national champion as a player, former Duke point guard and current ASU head coach Bobby Hurley summed up the win best.

"Well, that was one of the great sports moments of my life," Hurley said.

ASU had knocked off Kansas in consecutive years, and it was the first time in program history that ASU had defeated the No. 1 team in the country at home.

Feb. 15 – Mar. 22, 2019: ASU baseball opens season with 21 straight wins

ASU baseball developed a run of success with five national championships and 15 College Baseball World Series appearances from 1964-1988.

But after back-to-back 23-win seasons, the program was in the midst of unprecedented mediocrity. Entering the 2019 season, it was now or never for head coach Tracy Smith.

Thankfully for Sun Devil fans, a 21-game unbeaten streak to become the last undefeated team in the nation was a big step in the right direction.

Mar. 24, 2019: ASU hockey reaches first NCAA Tournament

Established as a Division I hockey program in 2015, it seemed like it would be a while before Sun Devil hockey would appear on college hockey's biggest stage.

But in only the third full year of Division I competition, ASU (21-13-1) made the NCAA Tournament. 

“Inside that locker room every single guy in there believed that we could be here,” ASU defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk said. “But as soon as we got outside of that locker room, we got a lot of people who said that we couldn’t do it.”


Nov. 16, 2019: Sun Devil triathlon wins fourth straight national title

The Sun Devils have won the last four national championships in triathlon.

ASU has also finished in first place in every meet other than two since 2016.


Nov. 22, 2019: ASU wrestling hands No.1 Penn State first dual meet loss since 2015

Sun Devil fans stormed the mat after ASU snapped Penn State's 60-match dual win streak.

After falling to Penn State at Rec Hall the year before, No. 10 ASU squeaked out a one-point win in Tempe to shock the wrestling world.

"All of our guys came out of the gate firing," ASU head coach Zeke Jones said. "Nobody backed up and got scared. They stepped up and fought."

Nov. 23, 2019: Sun Devil football stuns No. 6 Oregon

Two years after the win over No. 5 Washington, ASU found itself in an eerily similar position.

Ranked No. 6 in the nation, Oregon was on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoff berth. ASU, on the other hand, hadn’t led in a game since Oct. 12.

“I’ve been looking forward to this game all season,” ASU redshirt junior wide receiver Frank Darby said before the game. “This year I was like ‘I can’t wait until we see Oregon.”

In front of a national audience on primetime television, ASU football defeated its second top 10 opponent since 2017.

“It’s an amazing feeling right now, amazing,” Darby said after the Oregon win. “It’s a blessing playing with these boys. They played their hearts out today.”


Reach the reporter at kbriley@asu.edu and on Twitter @KokiRiley.

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