Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Arizona State stuns Kansas for first home win over a No. 1
By ADAM ZAGORIABobby Hurley and Arizona State made history on Saturday night.
The No. 19 Sun Devils knocked off No. 1 Kansas at home, 80-76, marking the program’s first-ever win over a No. 1 team on its home court. Michael Phelps, Jason Kidd, Grant Hill, Vinny Del Negro and more than 30 NBA scouts were on hand.
Fans stormed the court after the game was over.
Arizona State’s only previous win over a No. 1 came on March 7, 1981 when they beat Oregon State on the road.
Hurley went 42-3 while playing for top-ranked teams during his playing career at Duke.
It marked the second time in two years Arizona State has beaten Kansas. A year ago, Arizona State improved to 9-0 with a 95-85 win over then-No. 4 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse.
This time around, Kansas led 71-65 with five minutes remaining after LaGerald Vick drained a 3-pointer, but the Sun Devils closed the game on a 15-5 run.
Remy Martin’s jumper with 1:01 remaining put Arizona State up 78-76, and Rob Edwards hit two foul shots with seven seconds remaining.
“Man, this feels amazing,” Martin said on ESPN. “The fans came out, I want to thank them first and foremost. But this is what we live for, this is what competitors live for, to play the No. 1 team at home. The fans were behind us the whole game, they didn’t give up on us.
“The feeling right now is indescribable. We played our hearts out, we hit big shots.”
Five Sun Devils reached double-figures, led by Edwards’ 15 off the bench. Luguentz Dort and Zylan Cheatham scored 13 apiece.
“Lu is amazing,” Martin said. “He plays relentless.”
Dedric Lawson went for 30 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas (10-1), which lost for the first time this season. Vick had 14 points and Devon Dotson 12.
“They were much better than us in the second half and we were much better than them in the first half,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We obviously didn’t close the game well at all and our defense wasn’t any good. They got what they wanted and obviously Remy made a couple of hard shots and No. 2 (Rob Edwards) came in and he wasn’t good, he was great. He’s a fifth-year kid and he scored about 10 straight, nine straight for sure, and brought them back. I think he made a three to give them a one-point lead and then we tied it up. I mean, we executed so poorly down the stretch, we got to get the big fella back in there so that way we can run some more stuff.”
With the loss, only five unbeaten teams remain in Division 1.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.