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President Clinton, enjoying a rare respite from his hectic job, has postponed his departure for Washington long enough to catch the University of Arkansas basketball team on television tonight.

The Razorbacks play UCLA for the national championship, and Clinton plans to watch it with friends before returning to the White House barely in time for a key diplomatic visit by British Prime Minister John Major.Clinton, who watched the semifinal from a local steakhouse Saturday, said the sport is a valuable therapy for him. "I have to have something else to think about," he said before landing in Arkansas on Friday night from Haiti. "Otherwise, I'll go nuts."

Some would say he's already crazy about his Hogs. Clinton cheered loudly for the team Saturday, yelling at the television as if the Arkansas team could hear his highly technical critiques. Afterward, he told ESPN interviewers Arkansas should start with the zone defense.

"I can't believe you're trying to coach them," Sen. David Pryor, D-Ark., kidded Clinton during a round of golf Sunday.

Clinton wraps up his visit home Tuesday morning, after dedicating a school library in Jonesboro, Ark., Monday and watching the game tonight. He must return to Washington in time for a meeting with Major, who was miffed by Clinton's recent embrace of IRA ally Gerry Adams.

Major arrived in Washington on Sunday night and was meeting with congressional leaders and Pentagon officials Monday.