This isn't so bad after all

It's October 23, 2008. Lute Olson's retirement was announced by Jim Livengood, sending the basketball program into a complete circus.

It's October 23, 2008. Lute Olson's retirement was announced by Jim Livengood, sending the basketball program into a complete circus.

In two days, Arizona would lose to USC in football, putting the Wildcats at 5-3 heading into their toughest stretch of the season.

At that point in time, if someone would have told you that you'd wake up on Christmas morning and the UA basketball team – led by ex-AAU coach Russ Pennell - would be 8-3 and that Mike Stoops was days removed from a three-year extension, there's no way you would have believed it.

But that's been exactly the case. Arizona's basketball team has been a rose that's grown from concrete and Stoops has proven himself to be a rubber band man, always bouncing back when the odds are against him.

This isn't such a bad way to head into the New Year.

Of everyone who has to be happy about the temporary light shining on Tucson, it has to be Livengood who is smiling the widest. It must be two weeks since I've heard anyone call for Livengood's head, and that's by far the record over the past several years.

It's been an absolutely horrid stretch of time for Livengood and U of A fans, but maybe things have truly changed. Maybe Arizona's basketball and football programs have been beaten down enough and all the karma is ready to go in the Wildcats' favor.

Maybe, maybe not, but in case this is just a temporary peak on another long road of valleys, here's to enjoying the bright light while it lasts. There hasn't been much lately, so as an Arizona fan, you'll be happy to take what you can get.

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