A win so nice ASU celebrates twice
TEMPE, Ariz. — It was the biggest victory in Arizona State history, and Sun Devil fans were so giddy that they celebrated twice.
ASU put the finishing touch on its 69-66 victory over second-ranked Arizona on Jahii Carson’s dunk with 0.7 seconds remaining, and many in the student section rushed the court to celebrate the win that should send the Sun Devils, who are now 19-6, to the NCAA tournament.
ASU coach Herb Sendek and Arizona coach Sean Miller met for their postgame handshake amid the rush, and all seemed good.
Jermaine Marshall, who led ASU with 29 points, was caught in the chaos as the sell-out crowd rushed the floor. Carson hung on the rim after his dunk as the crowd descended, and while there was talk on the broadcast and on social media of a technical foul, he said the rim-hang was essentially a precautionary measure as the crowd descended.
"Jermaine got crushed," Carson said. "He’s claustrophobic. He said, ‘Don’t let them do that to me, man.’ They were doing it to me, too. After I got the dunk, I thought the game was over. It was a great energy. We wanted to rush the court for the first time."
But the clock stopped at the dunk, of course, and the referees told security to clear the floor so the game could finish. After about five minutes, as both Arizona and Arizona State watched patiently, Wildcats guard Nick Johnson hit the rim with a 45-footer from just inside the mid-court line as time expired.
"I just started to feel uneasy, because Arizona wasn’t leaving," Sendek said.
"I didn’t know what was going on until it was explained to me. My first concern was: Did somebody run out onto the court, and did they call a technical? Once that fear was alleviated, the explanation was that when Jahii (Carson) scored, there was still seven-tenths of a second left, and sure enough, Nick Johnson’s shot almost went in."