Staples Center is known as being the Mecca for celebrity sightings during sporting events. The Los Angeles venue is home to the Lakers and Clippers of the NBA and the Kings of the NHL — and it has become customary for television cameras to pan the Staples crowd, searching for famous people in attendance during broadcasts of games at the downtown L.A. location. But UCLA's Pauley Pavilion was the place to be Thursday night.
The venerable on-campus arena in Westwood became Staples West during the Bruins' highly-anticipated matchup with No. 1-ranked Arizona. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Lakers guard Steve Nash were among the cognoscenti in the house. (Former UCLA star Baron Davis and one-time Arizona standout Luke Walton were also there.) But perhaps the most curious pair seated next to each other was coaching legend Phil Jackson and actor John Lithgow. What do the Zen Master and Raising Cain have in common? Evidently, the two each own land in Montana and have become friendly over the years.
And what a game they all saw. The Wildcats overcame a late 15-1 Bruins run to hold off UCLA 79-75. With the victory, Arizona equaled its best start in school history at 16-0.
Finally, in college football, Auburn running back and Heisman finalist Tre Mason will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.