Seen and heard: Crowds, Sonoran dogs wow at 'GameDay'

2012-01-29T00:00:00Z 2012-01-29T06:53:44Z Seen and heard: Crowds, Sonoran dogs wow at 'GameDay'Compiled by Patrick Finley, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

No Trio

Rece Davis has a theory he calls "Trio of Doom."

The perfect equation for poor "GameDay" basketball crowds, he said, is a combination of three things: a football school, a disappointing basketball team and an unseasonably warm day.

While the Wildcats might be a bit disappointing, and Saturday's weather was gorgeous, it is most certainly a basketball school.

Hence, a great crowd.

"I think it shows the passion for basketball here," Davis said. "This is not a vintage Arizona team, one that's going to win a national championship, like (coach) Sean (Miller) will put on the floor in very short order.

"But still, they love 'em. They support 'em. And this is why this is a hard place to play, and why it's a great program."

Another quotable

"We beat Duke!"

- UA fans' chant anytime ESPN showed Duke during the show.

Sonoran dog!

ESPN introduced America to one of Tucson's treasures, the Sonoran hot dog, during the show.

For those Tucsonans aware of the rivalry, ESPN chose El Guero Canelo over BK. The hot dog cart stayed after the show ended, cooking for crew members.

Rece Davis had yet to try the hot dog, but was going to.

"I like the local delicacies," he said.

Hubert Davis was not as enthusiastic, thinking the dog had milk products on it.

"I'm lactose-intolerant," he said. "I'm going to stay away from that."

The big number

3 Seasons since a fan made a half-court shot for $18,000, after Saturday's miss by a UA fan.

Good crowd

More than 1,400 fans attended Saturday morning's two-hour live broadcast of ESPN's "College GameDay" at McKale Center.

The crowd count was more than the past two "GameDays" - at Florida State and Pittsburgh - combined.

Arizona Wildcats athletic director Greg Byrne said ESPN told him it was their best crowd all year.

"It's incredible exposure for our university and our community," he said.

Analyst Hubert Davis said he was "happy to be" at the UA, a school he had never before visited.

Host Rece Davis called the large crowd "very gratifying," and said it "gave the show a lot of energy."

Some students camped out before doors opened at 6 a.m.

The broadcast ran from 8-10.

Destiny Pundt, 9, carried a sign saying there's no way she would ever attend Arizona State - not that her parents would let her.

She and 5-year-old brother Christian joined parents Corey and Amber. From the stands, they saw UA coach Sean Miller conduct on an-court interview with Rece Davis.

Later, the Wildcats took the floor and waved to fans.

As for the sign?

"It's because they're a bad school," Destiny said of ASU.

Know thy teammate

Toward the end of the broadcast, senior Kyle Fogg and freshman Nick Johnson played a game called "Know Your Teammate" - essentially, "The Newlywed Game," where players hold up cards trying to guess each other's answers.

We learned Johnson has a crush on Miley Cyrus and Fogg showers twice before every game.

They missed only two questions - one more than last week's team of Pitt teammates Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall.

Rece Davis thought they might have planned their answers.

"They were so good I started to wonder," he joked. "They said they didn't, and promised me they wouldn't. They're men of integrity."

Quotable

"I think, by the end, of the Pac-12 season it won't be a one-bid league. I think two, three teams from the conference will get into the NCAA tournament, because you have to get to 68. Arizona, I'm predicting they will separate themselves in the next four or five weeks in conference play, and they'll put themselves in position to be (in the NCAA tournament)."

- ESPN's Hubert Davis, predicting the Wildcats will make the Big Dance

Heads!

The broadcast had just begun when Greg Byrne sent a text message to his youngest son: "Can you please pass my head back up, so it's not front and center?"

If you watched the broadcast, you were sure to see Byrne's giant cardboard cutout head behind the "GameDay" desk.

Holding it aloft was Byrne's son, Davis.

Unlike the other ZonaZoo heads, the UA actually held Byrne's head in an office. Davis Byrne grabbed it before GameDay began.

Of course, Davis didn't listen to his dad right away.

"I waited until halfway through the second hour to move," he said.

Once a distinction held for UA players, Saturday's cardboard heads featured celebrities, local and otherwise.

We saw a cutout head of Phyllis Goodman, the UA superfan and 1950 Tucson High School graduate who dances and wears a knit beret.

We saw heads of ESPN personalities Erin Andrews, Rece Davis, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas and Bob Knight.

Former UA luminaries Derrick Williams, Jason Terry and Lute Olson were featured. So was, oddly enough, Charles Barkley.

Gumby and Banana

In a "White Out," everyone can see the giant green Gumby and yellow banana costumes.

That's the strategy, at least, used by Kyle McConnell, the banana, and Taylor Daml, who dressed as Gumby and attended "GameDay."

"It's pretty much guaranteed TV time," McConnell said.

The two juniors attended last year's white out in the same costumes.

"You only go to college once," McConnell said. "You only get to experience this kind of stuff once."

They camped out in the dark before the doors opened at 6 a.m., admitting that some students used vodka to make time pass faster.

Those same fans, they theorized, were among the 20 percent of the crowd that left one hour into the two-hour show.

"I think they got burnt out," McConnell said. "They were the ones chanting heavily at 4 a.m."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 5 0 0 1.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 3 0 0 1.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 0 1.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 0 1.000
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 3 1 0 0.750
California 0 0 0 0.000 3 1 0 0.750
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 3 1 0 0.750
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 2 1 0 0.667
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 3 2 0 0.600
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 3 2 0 0.600
USC 0 0 0 0.000 3 3 0 0.500
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 1 2 0 0.333

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Kansas State at
Arizona
11/25 68-72
VCU at
Oregon
11/25 77-63
Delaware at
Stanford
11/25 47-84
Cal State-Fullerton at
USC
11/25 49-53
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Auburn at
Oregon State
11/26 7:00 pm
Cal Poly at
California
11/26 8:00 pm
San Diego State at
Arizona
11/26 8:00 pm
San Jose State at
Washington
11/27 9:00 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Washington State
11/27 10:00 pm
Colgate at
Arizona State
11/29 12:00 am
Alabama State at
Utah
11/29 12:00 am
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