2001 NCAA Men's Tourney

Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Free e-mail Travel Subscribe SI About Us
  Men's Home
Women's Home
More Men's Hoops News
Daily Schedule
Main Bracket
Stats Matchups
Team Pages
SI's History of The Final Four
Region Homes
 • Bracket | Chart
 • Bracket | Chart
 • Bracket | Chart
 • Bracket | Chart

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide

 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia


No storybook finish

Olson's trying year ends with difficult title game loss

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday April 03, 2001 12:54 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 03, 2001 5:20 AM

  Lute Olson Lute Olson's Wildcats say the coach has been an inspirational role model in an adversity-filled season. AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- They had been through so much together that in the aftermath of their NCAA championship loss to Duke Monday night, the Arizona Wildcats seemed drained.

The death of coach Lute Olson's wife, Bobbi, on Jan. 1 had hung like a cloud over the Wildcats for three months. Now, with the season over, Olson reflected on his loss and the players spoke about what they learned by how he handled it.

"All of us have things happen to us that we have to be willing accept," Olson said. "I don't know how many people that I've heard from that have lost life partners. And they said ... those memories are going to be there all your life, and the pain will start diminishing eventually, not totally, but ...

"So it's a fact of life. So it's there. And like I've said, thank goodness for family and great friends."

Center Loren Woods said he admired his coach's strength in the face of personal tragedy.

"Coach Olson has taught us so much since we've been in the program and we all have learned as much as we could learn from him," he said. "He's taught us courage, patience, dignity for the program and dignity for yourselves and your families.

"That's not about coach Olson. It's just about growing up. All of us seniors came to college as boys and we're leaving as men."

Richard Jefferson said he had learned from Olson how important family is in time of crisis.

"He went through some very tough times this year, and his family was really there for him. You see his family and how close-knit they are," Jefferson said. "That's how you want to raise your family.

"That's something when you see, you're a 19-, 20-year-old boy going into the world, you need an example like that. This is how your family needs to be. This is how you raise your kids.

"This year I learned so much about life and so much about how I need to be for the rest of my life."

Related information
Duke pulls away from Arizona late for third title
Woods plays biggest game in toughest loss
Dunleavy's 18 second-half points lift Duke
Notebook: Blue Devils count to title by 3s
Arizona's Loren Woods explains what he's learned from his head coach. (419 K)
Arizona's Richard Jefferson says Lute Olson has showed him the importance of family and given him life lessons. (245 K)
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


CNNSI   Copyright © 2001 CNN/Sports Illustrated. An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines.