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Fickle fans beware the wrath of Lute

Jeff Lund
By Jeff Lund
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday February 11, 2003

UA head coach Lute Olson criticized Wildcat fans yesterday, saying they are spoiled.

Sadly, this is true. If Arizona wins by 20, fans sit and talk about how boring the game was. If UA has a scare say against, oh, Washington or Washington State, then suddenly the Wildcats suck.

You have to consider one thing: the due factor is against Arizona. It's hard to sweep any team during a season because the Wildcats have to play one game away.

To beat a team 36 straight times is just ridiculous. One of these times, er, years, Washington State will beat Arizona. Then what? More than likely a new streak will begin ·

On the women's side, it was a busy weekend for center Shawntinice Polk and the medical staff.

The good:

Polk was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 21 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Not too bad. Now let me show you the most impressive part. Polk averaged just 21.5 minutes per game during the weekend öö just over half a game.

Polk also shot 73 percent from the field during the weekend sweep at home over the Washington schools.

The bad:

Freshman Natalie Jones injured her knee in Arizona's win over Washington. She is expected to be fine, and shouldn't miss much action due to the bruise.

The ugly:

Can freshman Katrina Lindner get a break öö a good one? She redshirted last season because she tore her right ACL during the Red-Blue scrimmage. Now she might have torn the left one. Pending an MRI, Lindner might be done for the season, again.

If anyone has been due for some good news, it's Lindner ·

Arizona is number one in the men's basketball polls again, and another team is trying to prove it has the potential of the Wildcats. First it was Oklahoma, then Duke. This time the margin is as slight as ever as Louisville received 27 first place votes (Arizona was tops with 37).

It is becoming clear that no team in college basketball fears the team from Tucson. And they shouldn't. Every Division I team has a shot at beating another; it's just a matter of doing it. Despite losing to Stanford, Arizona has been getting the job done since the conference season began, not by blowing out teams but by outscoring them.

This leaves doubt in the minds of many as to the toughness of Arizona.

ESPN.com analyst Andy Katz believes that the Cardinals should have the top spot in the country.

If Katz had his way, Louisville would be No. 1, Kentucky No. 2 and Arizona in the third spot because of two unimpressive wins in Washington.

Olson should be pleased with the deflection of attention from Arizona. He doesn't like how his team is playing, but that's taking a bit of the bull's-eye off Tucson.

Olson has a chance now to rally the troops in time for a championship run while the nation doubts the Wildcats and looks East ·

Kentucky has looked great, winning 12 games in a row since a loss to Louisville.

The Cardinals have lost one game (Purdue) and that was at the beginning of the season. It is hard to find a hotter team in the country, though Louisville's schedule strength is the 60th-strongest, wins are wins, and that's all that matters in March. Ah, but the "due" factor comes into play. There is no way Rick Patino's team will win out. Regular season maybe, but suppose it does. Will it win the Conference USA tournament?

Only three times in the last seven years has the regular season champ in C-USA also won the conference tournament. All three times it was Cincinnati (1996, 1998, 2002).

The Cardinals are going down. It's just a matter of time.

The "due" factor is too great ·

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