Mike D

Michael Dickerson sat by himself in an empty section of seats an hour before tipoff Saturday.

"This is really cool," he said.

The former Arizona Wildcats forward knows what the UA players must have been feeling. He was the leading scorer on Arizona's 1997 NCAA championship team.

"Brings back memories," he said. "Any time it's a great environment, you rise to the challenge.

"You get a feeling of anxiousness. You want to get out there and represent your school and represent your city."

The Wildcats' eighth-leading scorer all-time was honored two weeks ago during the Pac-10 tournament as the UA's newest member of the Pac-10 Hall of Honor.

"I'm sure there's other people that should have been there ahead of me," he said, "but it was a great honor."

Dickerson, wearing long braids pulled back behind his head, lives mainly in the Pacific Northwest.

"I came to this game to support these guys," he said before the game. "Anything's possible now. You can win the championship."

Asked if he had a favorite UA player, Dickerson smiled.

"I wore No. 23 when I was there," he said, "so it's a great representation."

That's Derrick Williams.

"He's representing it great," Dickerson said.


"The Whole Enchilada From La Mirada"

A sign held behind the UA bench. The nickname for Derrick Williams originates from Petros Papadakis, who co-hosts a Los Angeles-based show on Fox Sports Radio

Celeb watch

Honda Center became McKale Center West on Saturday.

We spotted UA president Robert Shelton mingling in the Arizona section across from the team bench. Music producer Harvey Mason, a former Wildcats player, sat among the crowd, as did Dickerson.

We spotted Lute Olson, former big man stars Chris Mills and Joseph Blair, and Lakers forward Luke Walton.

Walton was shown on the Honda Center videoboard during the second half, and the partisan crowd started an elongated "Luuuuuuuuuuuuke!" chant. He looked at the screen and waved.

The fan base was at least 85 percent Wildcats fans, best we could tell.

The big number

81 percent

Connecticut's chance of winning the game at halftime, according to basketball stats savant Ken Pomeroy. He had Duke at 91 percent at halftime Thursday night, before the Wildcats rallied to win.

'The Realio'

Kyryl Natyazhko had a brush with fame this week, and not just because the Arizona Wildcats were marching through the NCAA tournament.

CBS cameras caught the UA center doing an odd-looking dance after Derrick Williams' three-point play in the final seconds against Texas one week ago.

On the bench, Natyazhko flailed arms up and down and leans his chest back, while his legs remain stationary.

Someone posted the highlight onto YouTube, dubbing it "The Realio" and calling it "the greatest dance move known to man."

The clip even wound up being discussed on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption."


Arizona Wildcats fans weren't thrilled to see the halftime presentation.

And no, it wasn't just because of Kemba Walker's three-pointer with 16 seconds to go.

UCLA's Women's College World Series champion softball team was honored.

Yeah - the one with a record 14 home runs in the WCWS last year. The same one that beat Mike Candrea's Arizona team 15-9 in the championship game, one night after a dropped fly ball cost the Wildcats in Game 1.

Yeah, that one.

To the credit of UA fans, we didn't hear a ton of booing. Some booing, yes.

Another quotable

"That's two."

UConn guard Kemba Walker, to Derrick Williams, after the UA forward picked up his second personal foul in the first half.

Another big number


Attendance at Honda Center on Saturday, 34 people fewer than Thursday's crowd

Patrick Finley