Two members of the Arizona Wildcats sat in the crowd Saturday, the way they’d done all week and last week, too, for the Pac-12 tournament.
Walk-on Jacob Hazzard and redshirting forward Matt Korcheck sat three or four rows behind the UA bench at EnergySolutions Arena, cheering baskets and, occasionally, even interacting with fans.
“A little bit,” Korcheck, a Cochise College transfer. “I’m not gonna be disrespectful.”
The two had seats in the UA locker room, but not on the bench, per NCAA rules.
So was it more fun than watching form the bench, or frustrating?
“It’s both,” Hazzard said. “I get to watch the game, kinda enjoy it a little more. It’s tough not being down there on the bench. I’m just as intense. …
“If it’s a close game, I’m real serious. Today, it was a lotta fun.”
The big number
Minutes the Wildcats trailed, over two games in Salt Lake City
Every member of the Harvard pep band wears a crimson sport coat with a matching tie.
What’s the best song they played Saturday? It wasn’t Justin Timberlake’s hit, “Suit and Tie.”
Actually, it was a musical number from the “South Park” movie.
The band played “What Would Brian Boitano Do?”, a song sung by the cartoon boys in honor of the figure skater. It places Boitano in mythical situations, as in: “When Brian Boitano was in the Alps/fighting grizzly bears/ he used his magical fire breath/and saved the maidens fair.”
Very dorky. And very cool.
They also played Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” and a Taylor Swift song.
Now that’s range.
Tweets of the day
“Wow, we're beating Harvard in basketball? And I always thought we were just superior to them academically!”
Former UA star and TNT analyst Steve Kerr, @SteveKerrTNT
“I want to see Max Wiepking in the game right now!”
Former Wildcats forward Derrick Williams, @RealDWill7, in the first half
“Love watching UofA dominate! #Sweet 16”
— Former UA wing Chase Budinger, @CBudinger
Lyons laughs last
In the second half, a Harvard fan tried to razz Mark Lyons by bringing up his past.
When the UA guard was getting ready to pass the ball in from underneath the Wildcats’ basket, the Crimson fan screamed.
“Mark!” he said. “Don’t start another brawl, like you did at Xavier!”
Lyons, who received a two-game suspension for a fight against Cincinnati last season, stopped, looked at the fan and laughed out loud.
“It is what it is,” he said afterward. “I lot of people think I’m this kinda guy, I’m a thug, I’m this, I’m that.
“But I’m a good guy. I’ve got a college degree. I’m a family guy. I’m a good guy.
“People are going to judge me how they’re going to judge me. I laugh at it.”
“Looking at where this program came from, it’s just rising. It’s just going up. It’s going to take a lot of hard work — and that’s what we’ve been putting into it so far — just with hard work.”
Harvard senior guard Christian Webster
When Grant Jerrett hurt his elbow in his first minute of play, Angelo Chol knew he’d be needed.
“When he left the game, I had to tell myself, ‘I have to help the team,’” he said.
The UA forward wound up playing eight minutes, making a tip-in and grabbing two rebounds.
“It’s good to know I’m still part of the team and I can contribute,” said Chol, who averaged 8.5 minutes but did not play Thursday. “I don’t need to go out there and score. Just go out there and play defense and block shots.”
Freshman Gabe York, meanwhile, got some garbage-time action, missing one shot in four minutes in his first-ever NCAA tournament game.
“It was fun,” he said. “I didn’t have any nerves. I like playing on a big stage like this.”
Another big number
Arizona’s record all-time against Harvard.