Another standing-room-only crowd was crammed into yet another local arena Sunday, Feb. 10, and Barack Obama had nothing to do with it. Many of us were at Hec Edmundson Pavilion to witness the best team in Pac-10 men's basketball, few of us imagining that it would prove to be the Washington Huskies. The Dawgs may well have the proverbial rude awakening on their Valentine's Day date with Oregon, but for now the overachievers will always have a nearly wire-to-wire 71-61 win over the UCLA Bruins for boasting purposes years from now. Not only did the Huskies beat what had been the nationally fifth-ranked, 19-2 Bru-Crew. They did it despite failing to improve on what may be the worst team free-throw percentage since this reporter and his sixth-grade teammates were whiffing it from the "charity stripe." The UW guys probably could've shot 16 for 30 (as they did) wearing blindfolds (maybe not a bad idea). The Bruins, meanwhile, not only were 18 for 21 but nary a successful free throw seemed to even skid along the rim. The Huskies (13-11, 4-7 in league) probably triumphed because UCLA made just one of 16 attempts from three-point range. The shorter-in-stature Huskies also had eight more rebounds than the opponents and were able to work some of the boards for muscle shots under the bucket. Kevin Love, the complete-package freshman who usually plays basketball with the finesse his better-known uncle Mike uses harmonizing with the Beach Boys, had an off-key day. The center may have been playing his first and last game at Hec Ed, according to those who figure him as a top pick in the next National Basketball Association draft. Playing at Oregon's MacArthur Court on Thursday, Feb. 14, will, as always, seem somewhat like being subjected to Dick Cheney's favorite torture chamber. A fortnight ago, Kevin Love – even though his NBA-vet dad, Stan, is a Duck sports hall-of-fame inductee, and even though Kevin hails from Portland-area Lake Oswego High – was worked over so mercilessly by Duck partisans that Cheney himself might have called a halt. The Huskies invariably get similar treatment in Eugene. Maybe they ought to prepare themselves for their Valentine's date by imagining that they're actually attending a political rally, similar perhaps to one featuring Cheney's distant relative, Barack Obama.