Goodby DePaul, Memphis State, BYU, St. John's. Hello, Washington, whose Huskies showed up at Pauley Pavilion Monday night and got turned over by UCLA's Bruins, the first big upset of the Walt Hazzard era and what Hazzard had in mind, all along.
The Bruins came from eight points behind in the first half, held the Huskies to 26.7% shooting from the floor in the second and beat them going away, 63-51, before 10,322, the first five-figure home crowd of the season. UCLA is 4-2 in the Pacific 10, with home games coming this week against Cal and Stanford.
Of course, as Hazzard keeps reminding himself, if they'd made a better inbounds pass at Tucson, they might be 5-1. Hazzard was asked later if he'd had to pick his team up after the one-point loss.
"They picked me up,' he said.
Or waited for him to come down, anyway.
"He went berserk after that Arizona game in the locker room," said Reggie Miller, laughing. "I don't know if I want to say the words in front of y'all. We just told him it'd be all right."
By the end of Monday's game, Hazzard's spirits had improved at the expense of those of the Huskies. His Bruins, mostly Nigel Miguel, added another top scorer to their list of snuffs. After shutting down Joe Wallace, Chris Sandle and Eddie Smith, all leading scorers on their teams, in the last three games, they got none other than Detlef Schrempf, even if it was a badly limping Schrempf. The Bruins held him to four points and 2-for-7 shooting. Against the Bruins, Wallace, Sandle, Smith and Schrempf are a combined 9 for 42.
"People are making it a personal thing," Miguel said. "It was five players. Every time I turned, someone was there to help."
People are making it a personal thing all right.
Said Washington Coach Marv Harshman: "We had Detlef in the low post, but the guy just started tackling him, holding him, hooking him around the neck. . . . It's the most amazing thing. As good as he (Schrempf) is and he doesn't get a single free throw? It's got to be the mystery of the universe."
And which guy was that?
"Miguel," Marvelous Marv said. "He started it."
This was no humpty the Bruins took out Monday. Washington, preseason pick to win the conference and 4-1 coming in, turned the ball over on its first possession and then scored on its next five, all on shots from inside the lane or free throws on fouls committed while they were shooting the ball in the lane. Meanwhile, Montel Hatcher and his teammates tried to keep the Bruins even from 20 feet.
Hatcher was hitting, but no one else was. Thus it should come as little surprise that Washington ran up a 30-22 lead.
At that point, Harshman dropped a zone defense that UCLA had been having big trouble with and went back to a man-to-man. Wright, who'd already been shot up by Chris Welp, started getting on the board himself. Welp had 12 points at halftime, but Wright had 11 and the Husky lead was down to 32-31.
The Bruins had held Washington to no field goals in the last 5:09 of the first half. In the first 7:41 of the second half, they gave up only two more and grabbed a lead.
Welp, meanwhile, was collecting fouls at an impressive pace. He had one in the first half but collected his fourth with 7:06 gone in the second, forcing Harshman to sit him down. With the 7-0, 240-pound Welp went the Husky power game.
That left only Schrempf, who tried to take over, but couldn't.
The Bruins tried to put Washington away, but couldn't.
Welp went out with 12:54 left and the Huskies trailing by five points, 41-36. He returned seven minutes later with the Huskies still trailing by five points, 51-46.
Shortly thereafter, the Bruins went to their delay game. College basketball has had few adventures comparable to the UCLA delay game this season, but practice must make perfect because this time the Bruins made it work. They held onto the ball most of the time, made most of their free throws and won going away. It was the Huskies, instead, who cracked.
"I think this is the payoff for all those tough nights," Hazzard said later. "For all those mornings when I woke up feeling not too good. For the nights when I didn't sleep at all. I feel great, but this is just one game in three we'll play this week. I have two hours to bask in this. Who do we play next?"