Arizona basketball: Seen & heard at McKale Center

2013-02-11T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:15:25Z Arizona basketball: Seen & heard at McKale CenterPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 


At halftime, the NCAA honored Lute Olson - and tried to sell fans a painting.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of March Madness, the NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches commissioned artist Opie Otterstad to paint one image for each of the NCAA tournament's national champions.

Olson's painting features the coach holding the national championship trophy with Miles Simon, in a backward cap and holding a basketball, to his right. Above Olson's shoulders is the final score of the 1997 championship game against Kentucky.

The artist presented Olson with a print of the painting.

The original is being sold online at, starting today - as are a few reproductions.

A portion of the sales will go toward the NABC Foundation, which supports, among others, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Olson was introduced to the crowd, who greeted him with a "Luuuute!" cheer. The coach posed for photos alongside the artist and UA athletic director Greg Byrne.

What's going on here?

When the Wildcats lost Sunday, they became the latest carnage in a season where no one, anywhere, seems elite.

This week:

No. 1 Indiana lost to Illinois.

No. 2 Florida fell to Arkansas.

No. 3 Michigan lost to Wisconsin.

No. 5 Kansas lost to both TCU and Oklahoma.

And then, Sunday, No. 7 Arizona lost to Cal.

That's right. Five teams ranked in the top seven fell this week - and they all lost to unranked teams.

Nuts, right?

"Anything can happen in conference play," Cal guard Allen Crabbe said. "You can catch a team slipping and whatnot. You just gotta take advantage of it.

"Fortunately, tonight was that night for us, and we came out with a win."

UA coach Sean Miller said that "you're getting teams' best shots when you're ranked and they're not.

"Many times they enter the game with nothing left to lose," he said, "and everything to gain."

New radio fill-in

Corey Williams and Matt Muehlebach swapped sides of the court Sunday.

Muehlebach, the Arizona Wildcats' regular radio color analyst, moved across the floor to the television chair, serving as the Pac-12 Networks analyst.

He agreed to work five games for the network this season.

Williams, who works for Fox Sports Net, replaced Muehlebach for the day as Brian Jeffries' analyst.

Williams was the fourth different person to fill in for Muehlebach on the radio side: Joe Nehls, Ryan Hansen and Jim Rosborough handled the duties earlier this year.

The big number

Jan. 31, 2008

The last time Cal beat a top-10 team on the road; they topped No. 9 Washington State, 69-64

Another big number


All-time wins while coaching a Pac-12 school for Mike Montgomery, who tied Washington's Hec Edmundson for fourth place after Sunday's victory. Lute Olson leads the pack with 327.

Mr. Second Half

Cal's Crabbe has dominated the second half this season. He scored 19 in the second frame Sunday, but that's not even his highest second-half total of the season.

Cal's junior guard has now scored 16 or more points after halftime in seven different games:

Date Opp. Min. FG 3s FT Points

Nov. 13 Pepperdine 15 7-10 3-4 7-7 24

Nov. 16 Denver 19 5-7 1-2 6-6 17

Dec. 29 Harvard 20 5-12 0-2 7-7 17

Jan. 3 UCLA 20 8-12 0-0 0-0 16

Jan. 5 USC 20 6-8 1-2 6-6 19

Jan. 27 Colorado 20 7-14 3-7 0-9 17

Feb. 10 Arizona 20 6-7 4-5 3-4 19


"They played the best against our defense as any team has played all season. That's our team strength."

- UA coach Sean Miller, on Cal

Bak squared

One unsung hero of Sunday's upset win: Bak Bak, the 6-foot-9-inch, rail-thin Sudanese forward for Cal.

Bak scored six points off the bench for the Golden Bears, his highest total since he had 10 in a blowout win against Jackson State on Dec. 11, 2011.

Bak made both his field-goal tries and both his free-throw attempts. He scored four points in the final 4:33.

"Bak was great," guard Crabbe said. "He came in on the bench and played some pretty good defense."

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Utah 6 1 0 0.857 16 3 0 0.842
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857 18 2 0 0.900
Stanford 5 2 0 0.714 14 5 0 0.737
Oregon State 5 2 0 0.714 13 5 0 0.722
Oregon 4 3 0 0.571 14 6 0 0.700
UCLA 3 4 0 0.429 11 9 0 0.550
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429 10 8 0 0.556
Washington 3 4 0 0.429 14 5 0 0.737
Washington State 3 4 0 0.429 9 10 0 0.474
Arizona State 2 5 0 0.286 11 10 0 0.524
California 1 6 0 0.143 11 9 0 0.550
USC 1 6 0 0.143 9 10 0 0.474

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Washington at
1/25 56-77
Oregon State at
Arizona State
1/28 6:00 pm
Oregon at
1/28 8:00 pm
Stanford at
1/28 9:00 pm
Colorado at
1/29 7:30 pm
Utah at
1/29 8:00 pm
California at
Washington State
1/29 9:00 pm
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 6:00 pm
Oregon State at
1/30 8:00 pm
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