UW football coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the crowd at halftime, saying -- well, yelling -- "We can't wait for Labor Day weekend."
And while that drew a big cheer, maybe the crowd is having second thoughts now. Maybe they can wait a while for Labor Day ... at least through what now promises to be an interesting final week of January, and a very interesting February, and perhaps a mad mad March.
I think those are a couple of the many things the Huskies accomplished with their win over UCLA on Saturday: They made the rest of the season that much more interesting; and they allowed fans' hopes to grow a little larger.
Never miss a local story.
And finally, some highlights for skimmers:
Star of the game: UW senior Justin Dentmon scored 16 points and had two steals in a performance shorted to 17 minutes due to foul trouble. Both steals and eight of the points came during a 12-0 run late in the game that settled the issue.
Key stats: Washington shot 43 free throws to UCLA's 15. The Huskies also hit 36 of those 43 free throws (83.7 percent). Dentmon was 10-for-10 from the foul line.
Observations: UW is alone atop the Pac-10 standings for the first time since January 2005. … This was the most points scored on UCLA since November 2005. … In the battle of brothers, UCLA's Jrue Holiday had eight points, five rebounds and two assists. He was covered only briefly by his older brother Justin Holiday, who had three points and five rebounds. Those points came on his first career 3-pointer. … Over one stretch, UW nailed 12 consecutive free throws. … At halftime, football coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff were introduced. "This is the greatest coaching staff in American here, guys," Sarkisian told the crowd. "We can't wait for Labor Day weekend." That's when football season opens -- against Louisiana State. … Also introduced was Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid, who formerly coached at UCLA.
Quotable: "Yeah, we joked around a little bit. One of the free throws — I don't know if I'm supposed to say this — but when we were supposed to box out, he was like 'If you don't go hard right here I won't go hard.' So I said, 'OK, cool,' and we just chilled. Little stuff like that. There were some little battles out there, but we tried to keep it happy." – Justin Holiday on playing against this brother Jrue for the first time.
Next: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, at Arizona, McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.; FSN.
Halftime: UCLA, 30-38.
The Bruins got off to a 5-0 and 9-3 lead as Washington missed its first six shots. However, UW got it together after that, briefly taking the lead at 29-28.
Justin Holiday ended the half with his first career 3-pointer.
Jon Brockman leads UW with nine points and (only) three rebounds. Josh Shipp leads UCLA with 12 points, but they came early and the points stopped when Holiday was guarding him.
At halftime, football coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff were introduced.
This is the greatest coaching staff in American here, guys," Sarkisian told the crowd. "We can't wait for Labor Day weekend."
That's when football season opens ... against LSU.
Tipoff: Huskies going with usual lineup: Thomas, Dentmon, Pondexter, Brockman and Gant.
11:30: The first few early-bird Bruins have begn trickling out to warm up.
And as I look up, I notice that the Brandon Roy No. 3 jersey has been moved to what I take to be its permanent home: alongside Big Hougbregs' No. 25 beside all the championship banners hanging above the east end zone stands.
11:15: I just pulled into the Hec Ed parking lot, and once again was greeted by signs warning that today's game is a sellout.
There was, however, an army of scalpers out already.
Gameday dawns: The 13th-ranked Bruins and Huskies go at it for the Pac-10 lead at 1 p.m. today at Hec Ed.
The TNT Vegas line ranks the game even.
Here's my game preview.
We got some time yesterday with coach Lorenzo Romar and some of the players, but no real news came from that. Most of the talk was on the significance of the game, and on the angle of the Holiday brothers -- Justin of UW and Jrue of UCLA -- opposing each other for the first time.
I'll pop back in once I'm at Hec Ed with pregame news, a running blog through the game, and quotes and notes after.
The game will be on FSN.