ANAHEIM, Calif. - Scott Weingarten dug deep into his closet to find something to wear to Saturday's NCAA West Region final. He found a faded, yellowing good-luck charm.
"A 1997 national championship T-shirt," he said. "I haven't worn it in 10 years, but I pulled it out for this game."
Weingarten, a 2000 UA grad, is one of many Arizona Wildcats fans who admit to being superstitious for big games. Saturday's Elite Eight game against Connecticut was the biggest in a decade.
Tucsonan Allen A. Katz wears lucky pants - faded blue jeans that, he says, are a part of him for every UA basketball event. The 49-year-old Wildcats booster wore them on a chartered flight to Anaheim on Wednesday, and to the games Thursday and Saturday. Friday, the pants "took a little break," he said.
Katz laughed when asked why he considers his jeans lucky.
"They fit," he said.
While many UA fans opted to go the traditional route, a few chose to create their own luck. Tucsonans Stan Jewell and Cristina Belaud bought UA shirts at an Anaheim-area mall Friday, then paid a silkscreener to add the words "UConn do it!" on the back. The shirts cost about $40 apiece, after add-ons.
"We wanted something fresh and new and different," said Belaud, 41. "I packed enough clothes, but not enough UA gear."
Most fans, however, opted to sport gear from the Lute Olson era. Todd Ulise, a Los Angeles resident, wore an authentic Gilbert Arenas jersey from his years as an Arizona player. Adam Bastidas, a UA grad, wore a No. 34 jersey belonging to former Wildcats standout Chase Budinger. John Gonzales was showing off his No.4 Luke Walton jersey when the Los Angeles Lakers forward, in town for the game, walked by.
Maybe the gear really was lucky.
"We're playing for a national championship," Weingarten said. "Why not?"