Arizona got a chance to celebrate some of their success. - Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Wildcats have seen many phases to their season already. But it would seem that Saturday's celebration helped them to gain momentum in the right direction.
A season is a lot like a pendulum. There are up-curves and down-curves, peaks and valleys, forward movement and backward movement. A study of momentum, the pendulum demonstrates to us the principles gravity and its restorative forces, drawing the oscillating object back to equilibrium.
And this is where the parallels diverge.
Because in college basketball there is anything but equilibrium. Perhaps we could dive into a study of Chaos Theory but I'd rather take the NCAA tournament's word for it. The momentum of this sport is captured in an instant and lost seemingly just as fast.
Because - and let's be honest - they'd lost it. Be it momentum or mojo, this group once 14-0 and third in the nation looked but a shell of that group heading into the regular season's finale. So when they handled Arizona State from tip-to-horn - trailing for just 106 seconds - it made good sense. Because this team did jump out to a 14-0 record and they were ranked third nationally and they were anointed the torcher bearers and revivers of a floundering conference. Over that time, success became a matter of aesthetics and less about the results. They could win, but it didn't always look good. And then, at times, they weren't winning. The pendulum reaching the bottom of its curve, a low point. But a transition point.
But as the Wildcats headed in to Saturday from that very low point, it became increasingly clear that whatever state this team may have been in, this was going to be a a time to celebrate. It was such from before tip-off as it was indeed Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom, Max Wiepking, and Quinton Crawford's final home game. It was the Ooh Ahh Man's final home game. The Wildcats, for what felt like the first time in awhile, could smile. Seriously, I don't know if they keep smile statistics but ask yourself when was the last time you saw Nick Johnson smile? It was about all he could on Saturday.
And moving forward, I hope these Wildcats can continue to do that because they're a good basketball team.
So yeah, that pendulum swings and according to Saturday's results, it's swinging up right now. And by this model it will keep whatever momentum its conjured; because, like a season, it won't stop until someone stops it.