I remember sitting in my best friend's living room three and a half years ago, watching Arizona beat Kentucky in 1997's all-Wildcat NCAA final. I was thrilled to see Miles Simon, Mike Bibby & Co., win the title, having somehow contracted the pigskin strain of Wildcat fever four years earlier when Tedy Bruschi and the Desert Swarm defense did me the favor of shutting out the hated Miami Hurricanes in the 1993 Fiesta Bowl.
But until last week, my love for all things 'Zona had dwindled. Lute Olsen's bunch may be the best college basketball team in all the land, but I couldn't switch my allegiance from the old Simon/Bibby Wildcats to this newfangled Richard Jefferson/Jason Gardner breed. Then, sitting in Baltimore-Washington International Airport eight days ago, waiting to board a flight that took off nearly three hours late, I met Gene Edgerson.