For most all of us Arizona State University alumni, our favorite team — other than the Sun Devils — is usually the opponent the University of Arizona is playing on any given game day.
That’s just the cold, hard facts in the life of a Devil’s Disciple.
But what occurred on Saturday in Wildcat football and basketball games was something to behold regardless of any disdain for everything feline.
In a basketball game played against nationally No. 5 ranked Florida, the Cats rallied from six points down in the final minute to win a 65-64 stunner.
Hours earlier in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, the Cats overcame a 17-point fourth quarter deficit, scoring two touchdowns in the final 1 minute, 48 seconds to beat Nevada 49-48.
Sandwiched between the twin TDs was a perfectly executed on-side kick that the Cats were very lucky to recover.
To win the game everything had to go right for Arizona in the final minutes and it did, just after running back Ka’Deem Carey’s fumble was picked up by Wildcat receiver Garic Wharton at the 22-yard line. Wharton ran 10 yards down the sideline and then stepped out of bounds.
Not only did his recovery keep Arizona from turning the ball over, his quick thinking to run out of bounds saved precious seconds.
The Wildcats were out of time outs.
Following the recovery, Arizona scored, cutting Nevada’s lead to six points.
With 17 seconds remaining, Tyler Slavin hauled in a 2-yard TD pass from Matt Scott to tie the game 48-48.
Kicker John Bonano then calmly booted the conversion kick, even after Nevada coach Chris Ault had called a TO to try and ice him, giving Arizona the most unlikely of wins.
In the Arizona vs. Florida basketball game played in Tucson, U of A trailed with 64-58 with a minute to go and the Cats appeared to be on life support, if not DOA.
But a couple of free throws and a turnover created by an Arizona press, breathed life into the Cat corpse.
Trailing by a single point, Arizona was forced to foul with 21 seconds remaining.
The Gator player fouled, a 90 percent free throw shooter, uncharacteristically missed the attempt and Arizona corralled the rebound.
With Arizona in possession, Wildcat Mark Lyons banked a driving shot high off the glass that fell through with seven seconds left.
Florida had one last gasp attempt, but a desperation 3-pointer in the final seconds wasn’t even in the same zip code as the basket, giving the Cats a win almost as remarkable as the football triumph earlier that morning.
This ASU alum has to admit Arizona’s two wins on Saturday were most remarkable.
Yes, Arizona did Bear Down.
Oh goodness, it hurt deeply to write that.
Where’s the delete key?