Besides the Dodgers, my other sports love is UCLA basketball. There is something awesome and awe-inspiring about the purity of the collegiate game (relative to the NBA, that is) and the fickleness of fate in the NCAA Tournament, juxtaposed against the majesty and winning tradition of UCLA hoops. When the lights go down at the tip of the game's first jump ball at Pauley Pavilion, it is a sight to behold.
Congratulations to the UCLA Bruins for clinching the Pac-10 title last night with their win on the road vs. Washington State. Pat Forde has a very nice piece on them today, which will likely jinx them. But the Bruins, buoyed by the return of Josh Shipp and Lorenzo Mata, as well as the unexpected maturity and leadership of Darren Collison, have definitely exceeded expectations this year. I thought, after losing Jordan Farmar at the point and seeing Luc Mbah a Moute working his way through injuries this year, that this was going to be a tougher year for the program. Coach Ben Howland, amazingly, has his team following in the footsteps of last year's championship game team.
By the way, I was introduced to bruinsnation.com, which has a great video link under the post "M-A-D-N-E-S-S". I have the UCLA/Gonzaga tournament game saved on my HD-DVR at home, and watch it every two months or so. I had never seen this camera angle, though; my favorite part is at 0:40 when Joe Bruin is putting his hands on head in disbelief over their amazing comeback.