Tonight, Arizona State alums everywhere, myself included, will be reminded of the very wide chasm separating the basketball talents of University of Arizona and ASU when the teams meet in Tucson.

ASU, in its first year under Herb Sendek, is 0-8 in the Pac-10 thus far. That was probably expected (though a win over Oregon State, at least, would have been nice). Herby will feel the pain of Lute Olson (above), who whipped down Rob Evans and Bill Frieder before him; the prideful Tucson papers “ as if written by UA students themselves “ are quick to remind readers of this. Still, the Kitty Cats have lost three “ THREE! “ conference games in a row for the first time since 1984, or when Lute was just a spry 84 years old.

It’s a state of panic in Tucson, a shit pit stop off Interstate 10 where I think they still have a football team. But this is no time to kid. UA has lost three games in a row, and Olson’s well-being is regularly updated.

From the Tucson Citizen:

“He’s holding up well and better than I would assume,” said UA’s associated sports information director Richard Paige, who deals with Olson on a day-to-day basis in handling Olson’s media responsibilities.

Also: “He’s in great spirits,” said former UA star Steve Kerr.

Awww, poor Lute. How can he expect to live past 167 years old in this sort of condition? The good news for ASU alums? Herb Sendek was head coach in 1995 at Miami (Ohio), which beat UA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Scoreboard: Sendek 1, Olson 0 (so far).