Give David Stern an assist if UCLA win its 12th national title. . . .
If not for the NBA commissioner pushing for the rule that prohibits high school players from jumping straight to the pros, Kevin Love probably would be more concerned this week with his W-2 than the Final Four. . . .
Without the Pacific 10 Conference player of the year, Ben Howland still might have fielded a pretty formidable team led by Darren Collison but, as Neil Young wrote and UCLA foes can attest, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." . . .
Memphis, UCLA's opponent Saturday, was known as Memphis State when Bill Walton and the Bruins shredded the Tigers in the 1973 NCAA final, the redhead making 21 of 22 shots and scoring 44 points in a memorable 87-66 rout at St. Louis that was the 75th victory in UCLA's record string of 88 in a row. . . .
USC football fans might remember Memphis State for scoring a stunning 24-10 victory over Larry Smith and the Trojans on Labor Day 1991, setting the wheels in motion on a 3-8 season, USC's worst in the last half-century. . . .
Afterward, reporters were stunned anew when greenhorn Trojans quarterback Reggie Perry said, "We hung in there pretty good in the first half." . . .
Clip and save: In case you're wondering while watching Saturday's game, the script tattooed down the right shoulder and upper arm of Memphis junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts is Biblical verse, Psalm 37:1-3. . . .
If you think the BCS is controversial, how about this: In 1940, USC was named national collegiate basketball champion by the Los Angeles-based Helms Athletic Foundation after the Trojans lost to Kansas in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament and Kansas then lost to Indiana, 60-42, in the final. . . .
USC makes no mention of the "title" in its media guide. . . .
Chantal Sutherland, aboard Shore Do, will become only the second woman to ride in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, but the Canadian jockey and part-time model is as well known for her good looks as her riding ability. . . .
The 5-foot-2 rider has posed for Vogue and People...
The Lakers' offense flows much more smoothly with Pau Gasol, whose comfort in the triangle was evident in his Wednesday night return. . . .
With Andrew Bynum, they'll be that much better defensively too. . . .
It's good to see Elton Brand back playing for the Clippers, but is it really in their best interests to win now and possibly worsen their draft position? . . .
Andy Roddick scored his greatest triumph in Queens, where he won the U.S. Open in 2003, but the former world No. 1 also impressed Brooklyn, announcing his engagement this week to bikini model Brooklyn Decker. . . .
Thanks to Jered Weaver, Jon Garland, Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, you'd never guess based on the Angels' season-opening series against the Minnesota Twins that their top two pitchers are on the disabled list. . . .
No need to rush, John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. . . .
Joe Masucci of Anaheim Hills, referring to the baseball disciplinarian who handed down a three-game suspension to fiery Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa, notes in an e-mail, "Bob Watson is nothing but a Bowa-constrictor." . . .
William H. Smith, 90, of Palm Desert owns a personally collected keepsake that spans generations and was 60 years in the making: a framed set of autographs and photographs of James Naismith, who invented basketball in the 1890s, and Michael Jordan, who reinvented the game nearly 100 years later. . . .
Smith says he met Naismith at a track meet in Kansas in the 1930s and ran into Jordan at the Bob Hope Desert Classic a few years ago. . . .
If George Clooney's "Leatherheads" sparks your interest, you might want to pick up Chuck Frederick's "Leatherheads of the North: The True Story of Ernie Nevers and the Duluth Eskimos," a book about the team that inspired the film. . . .
Five arrests apparently were one too many for the Cincinnati Bengals, who 86'd Chris Henry only after a judge called the receiver "a one-man crime wave." . . .
Matt Leinart's hi-jinks are not atypical of an eighth-year senior.