Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.
A loud cheer erupted a few minutes ago here at the Staples Center in sunny Los Angeles.
It wasn't in response to news that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Peyton Thomas (and his master, Sheriff Joe Arpaio) gave up on a lame-brained (and costly) RICO case against the near world, i.e. the nexus of alleged governmental and private-sector evildoers that he and his acolytes have been fixated on
No, the cheers were for another four-letter acronym, this one UCLA, which has just beaten
the Arizona Wildcats 75-69 in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament.
The game was tight to the finish, but the Wildcats never could execute a big play down the stretch when they absolutely needed it.
Case in point was an ill-advised three-point attempt by freshman Derrick Williams with the Cats down by six in the closing minutes. It missed badly, and the Bruins came down and scored, which just about put the game out of reach.
The Cats had to win this wide-open tournament to earn the automatic bid.
With the loss, Arizona will not return to the NCAA Tournament next week for the 26th straight year -- the longest such streak in the nation.
So it goes.
Not a bad season overall (the Cats are likely to play in the second-rung NIT Tourney, and probably will get at least one more home game).
Arizona State plays Stanford later this evening here at the big arena. The game will be on Channel 34 (Fox Sports) and on KTAR620 radio.
We'll let you know how it went.
What is it they're saying?
RICO! RICO! RICO! RICO!
Nope, at least not here in LA.