UCLA vs. Kentucky: A Final Four Match Up in the Sweet 16
24 March, 2017, 01:47 | Author: Nora May
UCLA (31-4) will need plenty more this Friday against second-seeded Kentucky in the South Regional semifinals in Memphis at 6:40 p.m. PT. In Kentucky's round-of-64 victory over Northern Kentucky, the Bullitt East product had eight points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and two steals. Part of that was due to opponents refusing to get into the track meets that teams like UCLA and North Carolina were more than willing to conduct, but truth be told, John Calipari has never favored that style. Alford takes nearly 75% of his shots from long range, and he has an A/TO ratio of 2.6. It looked like the MAC outfit would be quickly dispatched, as its lack of size and short bench looked to be fatal flaws against the Bruins.
"Just the city and the street and we are ready for this", Wells said. The Bruins are #2 in adjusted offense and #77 in adjusted defense. In UK's loss to UCLA in Rupp, Fox (16.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.7 assists on the season) had 20 points, nine assists and only two turnovers.
The UCLA defense ranks last among the Sweet Sixteen teams. Got up and was able to shoot the free throws, but limping to locker room at the half.
Instead of cutting into the lead, A&M allowed UCLA to push it to as many as 37 before coming to the 75-43 final score.
You can win playing defense the way UCLA plays it. UCLA won 97-92. Eleven players scored in double figures. UCLA shot an absurd 63% overall and an even 50% (7-14) from 3. He knows the Bruins aren't in the business of holding teams to the low 60s or 50s, he said this past week as they prepared for the NCAA Tournament.
I know a lot of Kentucky fans are nervous about this game and rightfully so, but I actually feel pretty good about this team. Both teams are scoring machines.
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Having Ball as a solid point has allowed Bryce Alford to move nearly full time to the two guard spot and he has been one of the more consistent scorers over the last three seasons. Cincinnati bodied up UCLA and bullied them on both ends. No other Bruin played especially well on offense, as the team shot just 12-32 from the field and a woeful 29% from 3. UCLA only went into halftime down 3 by way of forcing 8 Cincinnati turnovers.
"We had to change, and we did", guard Aaron Holiday said of the second half. Typically, the Bruins allow 100.2 points per 100 possessions, considerably worse than Kentucky's 91.9 points.
Oh, and Thomas Welsh DID THIS. No. 8 UCLA on Friday night in Memphis, Tenn. However, Kentucky has won 13 in a row going in to this game, and they'll be in an arena that will probably make this look like a Kentucky home game.
If he winds up falling to a team like the Milwaukee Bucks or Indiana Pacers, he could pair with other big men and find a role to play early in his career. If UCLA fouls like they usually do, Kentucky could be moving on. The Wildcats stormed through the SEC with improved defense, and the Bruins found semblances of its own defense for stretches over Pac-12 play. A game between Ball and Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox, between T.J. Leaf and Malik Monk.
A collision between two of college basketball bluest blue bloods is what March Madness is all about.
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The last time Kansas lost an opening-round game of the NCAA Tournament was as a No. 4 seed in 2006 to a Bradley team led by Les. This season Caupain is No. 5 in country in assist turnover ratio, according to the NCAA's official site.
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