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Rick Majerus was still entertaining reporters Sunday about the hug he got in 1998 from actor/Kentucky fanatic Ashley Judd.

To borrow a phrase from Dirty Harry Callahan, she made his day.

At this year's game she left the arena early, so all Majerus got was a pat on the back from Kentucky's players and staff.

What a shame. No hug and no national championship.

Still, don't feel too sorry for Majerus.

Ashley didn't get an Oscar, either.

First-class upgrade

I know, I know. Enough already on Ashley Judd!

What else am I supposed to write about? Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry were at the Oscars.

Majerus said his friends often remind him he was once hugged by Judd.

"They like her. We're all middle-aged guys, and we have fantasies," he told reporters.

Majerus added, "If she wants to get divorced, I'm there."

Tell you what, Coach — you have a shot at winning her heart.

All you gotta do is get the Kentucky job.

Winging it

Then there was that little misunderstanding between Swoop, the University of Utah's mascot, and the Oregon Duck.

As I understand it, Swoop butted in on Oregon's cheer. The Duck didn't like it and came over to discuss it. Swoop accidentally knocked the Duck's head off. The Duck tried to knock Swoop off his stilts. Both got temporarily ejected.

In an unrelated note, after the Kentucky game, Majerus bemoaned the fact that center Tim Frost wasn't tough enough to play the physical Wildcats, and backup Cameron Koford tried hard but didn't have the talent.

So if Majerus needs toughness, how come he didn't recruit Swoop?

From a distance

Other weird stuff's happening in the tournament, too.

Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins got the heave-ho from the refs in the first round. But that's not big news. It started getting big when they also tossed the team radio announcer.

I know a writer who got tossed from an NBA game for making a derogatory remark about the officiating as he sat on press row.

Here's some advice, free of charge, for any media members wishing to keep that primo courtside seat: Save your criticism for the next day.


In the wishin,' hopin' and prayin' department comes this item: One day after the Mountain West Conference tournament ended in Vegas, a record number of advance sales came in (10) for next year's event in Denver.

Think of it! No more gambling! No more 99-cent breakfasts! No more Liberace museum! No more molten volcanoes!

What a bore.

But never fear, Vegas fans.

Next year you can catch the Nuggets.

They have a certain "Circus, Circus" atmosphere, as well.