From an outsider's perspective, UCLA wasn't going to be tossed aside very easily in its last game at the historic Pauley Pavilion. From the Arizona fans' perspective, the visiting No. 10 Wildcats weren't going to drop a second game in a row.
That wasn't the case Saturday in Los Angeles. In Arizona's 71-49 loss to UCLA, its second 22-point loss on the year, the numbers told it all.
The Wildcats (23-6, 12-4 Pac-10) were dispatched by UCLA (21-8, 12-4 Pac-10) thanks to poor rebounding (they got outrebounded by 14) poor interior defense (the Bruins scored 50 points in the paint to Arizona's 22) and poor effort (OK, numbers won't show that).
Now, they're tied for first place in the conference.
Derrick Williams notched his second rough outing in a row, and while his 15-point, eight-board performance doesn't look so terrible on paper, he couldn't handle the Bruin's size inside. UCLA forward Reeves Nelson was an energetic enigma, hustling for 27 points and 16 rebounds against a slow-footed Wildcat team that gave up basket after basket on the inside.
UA head coach Sean Miller implemented a post trap that either didn't work -- UCLA's behemoth of a center, Joshua Smith and wing Tyler Honeycutt, scored 17 and 15 points, respectively -- and most of those baskets were easy ones, too.
As a result, Arizona shot a dismal 32 percent for the game while UCLA connected on 53 percent of its hoops. After a 40-30 halftime deficit, the Wildcats came out of the locker room with no more, maybe even less urgency.
The Bruins spun off an 11-0 run that benched Williams and most of his fellow starters. A 10-0 burst by Arizona's bench and Kyle Fogg reeled in UCLA, and Williams only second-half basket brought the Wildcats within nine points briefly.
However, UCLA stomped any rally out, finishing the final 4:36 on a 14-1 run.
A fitting good-bye
If you have a heart, the best side story in UCLA's final romp at Pauley was this:
Scoring the 70th and 71st points for the Bruins was none other than walk-on guard Tyler Trapani. Don't know him?
Trapani is the great-grandson of Hall of Fame head coach John Wooden, who built UCLA basketball into a perennial power.