Afterward Elliott forswore any claim to revenge in having bested a member of an Olympic team that wouldn't have him. "Stacey deserved to make it," Elliott said. "It was a good strategy to take a defensive stopper over there. I was too timid in the Olympic trials, and it haunted me at the end." Nor should anything be read into his and Augmon's occasional woofing. Said Elliott, "It was just stuff said in the heat of battle. We're enemies on the court but friends off."
The same can't be said for their coaches. But their rivalry may be a healthy sign for basketball in the West, where life is once again stirring. It means that there's something to fight over and that at least two schools are willing to wage that fight. (There may be three, what with UCLA still unbeaten at week's end and having already signed two of the top high school players in California for next season. Bruins coach Jim Harrick, by the way, wasn't exactly best man at Tarkanian's wedding, either—but that's another story.)
This spring's Final Four will be in Seattle's Kingdome, where two seasons ago UNLV won the West in the NCAA regional and where Arizona won it last season. The next time Olson and Tarkanian strap on the guns, it may be for a chance to go to the Kingdome yet again—and for much higher stakes.