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Sun Devils complete incredible season

March 23, 2009
The most successful season in recent history for the ASU men's basketball team came to a close in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

No. 6 seeded ASU fell to No. 3 Syracuse 78-67 in a second round NCAA Tournament game March 22.

Despite the loss, ASU's season went down as one of the most successful in years, with a series of "first evers" and "first since" accomplishments.

Among the accomplishments:

• ASU made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. The Sun Devils made it into the second round after defeating Temple Temple 66-57 March 20.

• ASU made it into the finals of the Pac-10 conference tournament for the first time and got out of the first round for the first time since 1990 for the Sun Devils to win a game in the conference tournament. (The tournament was not held from 1991 to 2001 and resumed in 2002.) ASU finished second in the conference tournament with a 66-63 loss to USC.

• ASU finished the season at 25-10, the first time ASU has posted 25 wins for the first time since the 1974-75 team led by Lionel Hollins went 25-4. ASU's school record for wins is 26 set in 1962-63 (26-3).

• ASU finished at 11-7 in the Pac-10 and tied for third, its best Pac-10 finish since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team.

• The Sun Devils have clinched back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1979-80 team went 22-7 and the 1980-81 team went 24-4.

• The last time ASU had back-to-back winning seasons was when the 1993-94 team went 15-13 and the 1994-95 team went 24-9.

• After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 46-22 (.676) since and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed this year at 60.0 per game, second-best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6).

• ASU sophomore guard James Harden was named the 2008-09 Pacific-10 Men's Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the third Sun Devil to win the honor. Harden joined Eddie House (2000) and Ike Diogu (2005).

• Senior Jeff Pendergraph was named to the 10-man first-team. He earned all-thefreshman honors in 2005-2006, honorable mention in 2006-2007, third-team in 2007-2008 and first-team this season.