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The News from Tucson

The Cats sound desperate.

We gotta win - point blank," said UA's Mustafa Shakur. "We have to go all out or go home."

Already this season, the Bruins have defeated UA in Tucson. A loss today would drop the Wildcats to 13-9 and put their NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy.

It's not quite do or die, as Shakur said, but it's close.

"You can't say that if we don't get (the win) the season is over," Olson said. "That's not the case. We still have five of seven at home. (But) the sense of urgency at home has to be there, too. Every game is probably going to come down to who is the toughest team in the final four minutes of the game."

As Nestor pointed out below, Lute keeps pointing the finger at everyone but his senile old self:

Olson said yesterday that what his team lacks is a player who can will his team to victory. There is no Jason Gardner. No Jason Terry. No Miles Simon.

Those players had a "refuse-to-lose" mentality, Olson said.

Meanwhile, Greg Hansen sounds like he's conceded this game already:

The college hoop analysts dust off the M word for games of this rank -- a Must Game.
But that's not even close. The Wildcats don't have that much to lose at Pauley Pavilion this afternoon. It's actually a G game -- a Gain Game.

Man, it seems like just a few years ago that this was UCLA's attitude everytime we played these guys. Thank goodness for Coach Howland and his staff.

Anyway you shake it, this is a dangerous game. These guys are backed into a corner and are going to come to play. However, I think if we can jump on them early, we can get in their heads and take this one.