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Wildcats come oh-so-close against Huskies

Two to tie. Three to win. A miss gets you a ticket on the first bus back to Tucson.

If only this game were a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial — I would have sent the game into overtime.

I watched the red and blue get sucked out of U of A fans at Majerle’s in Old Town Scottsdale.

It was a madhouse, and the three UConn fans present were with the kids in ASU t-shirts. Only the seats at the bar had rear ends in them, everybody else was standing. Through 40 minutes my fellow Wildcat alumnae cheered for every point as if it were the game winner.

In the first half, @sundevils6 tweeted me “your boys are looking good! I can’t cheer ‘em on but I respect their game. Williams is a beast #gohuskies.”

He was right. My boys did look good, and Derrick Williams was a beast. But his foul trouble freaked me out. Williams had three fouls before the server delivered my grilled cheese 15 minutes from tip-off. That didn’t happen in the Duke game.

‘Cats down by 7 at the half, just one point more than they were down at the half against the Blue Devils. I thought I would see #23 come out and just crush it in the second half.

On paper, Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams had almost an identical game. Both were terrible from three sinking just one a piece, but still put up 20 points each. But one played for 26 minutes, the other busted his tail for all 40. In all but one of U of A’s regular season losses, Williams was on the court for less than 35 minutes.

UConn’s Jeremy Lamb was the real stud this game. The freshman had 19 points and 4 boards. That’s what Momo Jones & Kyle Fogg had combined. The kid’s been clutch this tourney, quietly earning 73 total points.

Arizona still scored 38 in the second half, right on par for them. But when points aren’t enough, rebounds are what count.

A few minutes into the second half I started counting the blue jerseys under the net after each shot – one or two bodies under the rim for rebounds. Against Duke, they were like piranhas, I saw at least three every time.

Were the Wildcats that tired or were they that confident in their offensive scorers?

And the perimeter certainly wasn’t good to the ‘Cats either. Four of 21 from three is bad for any team. That was especially bad for the ‘Cats when you compare it to the 9 of 15 they hit against Duke just two nights before.

@sundevils6 got cute in the second half, tweeting “#panicbutton.”

Crappy, but true. When Jamelle Horne pulled up for the three-point jumper, everyone at the bar held their breath.

These were the Wildcats who played Memphis, not Duke. But in that game, it was two to win.

When the game clock showed all zeros, a collective “Noooooo” waved through Majerle’s.

Seconds later Drake’s “Forever” came on.

Really DJ? A little too soon for that. I don’t “want this stuff forever.” I wanted overtime.


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