LOS ANGELES - No. 11-seed UCLA (22-13) returns to the road in the NCAA Tournament this week, facing No. 2-seed Gonzaga (34-2) in a South Regional semifinal on Friday at 4:15 pm (PT). UCLA's "Sweet 16" game against the Bulldogs in Houston will be nationally televised by CBS. The winner of Friday’s meeting will face either No. 2-seed Duke or No. 4-seed Utah in the South Regional final on Sunday at a time to be determined.
Venue: NRG Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Date: Friday, March 27
Game Time: 4:15 pm (PT)/6:15 pm (CT)
TV Talent: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst), Grant Hill (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (reporter)
Radio: AM 570 (KLAC)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
UCLA’s game this Friday in Houston (4:15 pm PT) will be broadcast live in the Los Angeles area on AM 570 (KLAC). The pregame show kicks off at approximately 3:45 pm PT. Chris Roberts and former UCLA basketball standout Tracy Murray will have the call, live from NRG Stadium in Houston. Fans can also listen to the audio broadcast by using the TuneIn radio app (click here
KEY NOTES ABOUT UCLA
- UCLA has advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 (Regional Semifinal) for the second straight year ... the Bruins have gone 22-13, winning six of their last seven games ... UCLA has gone 14-6 after having lost five consecutive games from Dec. 13 through Jan. 4 ... Norman Powell
has averaged a team-high 16.4 points per game.
- The Bruins are making their 47th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament ... UCLA has gone to the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons and each of the last three years ... in two seasons as the program’s head coach, Steve Alford
has led UCLA to consecutive 22-win seasons and back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
- UCLA is one of just six teams who have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year (along with Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Wisconsin) ... four teams from the Pac-12 Conference compiled a 7-1 record in the NCAA Tournament’s first weekend ... UCLA, Arizona and Utah have advanced to Regional Semifinals.
- The Bruins have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in 10 seasons ... UCLA has earned back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances for the first time since making three straight trips to the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008 ... UCLA is making its 13th trip to the Sweet 16 since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (31 years).
- Steve Alford
has become the fourth head coach in program history to have led his teams to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances in his first two seasons in Westwood ... previously, Gene Bartow (1975, 1976), Gary Cunningham (1978, 1979) and Steve Lavin (1997, 1998) also accomplished this feat during their first two years.
- UCLA has won at least 20 games in 32 of the previous 40 seasons (dating back to when former head coach John Wooden retired in 1975) ... head coach Steve Alford
has led his teams to at least 22 wins each of the previous eight years (at New Mexico and UCLA), averaging 25.6 wins per season in that span (2007-08 through 2014-15).
- UCLA went 16-1 at home this season, marking the program’s best home record since going 16-0 in Pauley Pavilion in 2006-07 ... UCLA and Arizona were the only two Pac-12 programs to go 9-0 at home in conference action this year ... UCLA won every home league game for the first time since 2006-07 (going 9-0 each season).
UCLA DEFEATS UAB, 92-75
- Tony Parker
recorded his sixth double-double of the season, logging a career-high 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, to power the Bruins past UAB, 92-75, last Saturday ... Bryce Alford
had his second straight game with at least 20 points (totaled 22) in the third-round victory ... in all, each of UCLA’s five starters scored in double figures.
- Parker’s 28 points against UAB were the most by any UCLA player in one NCAA Tournament game since Kevin Love registered 29 points against Western Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on March 27, 2008 ... against UAB, the Bruins secured a 46-37 lead by halftime and never saw their lead fall to fewer than six points in the second half.
- Bryce Alford
averaged 24.5 points in both games at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. ... Alford became UCLA’s first player with as many as 49 combined points in back-to-back NCAA Tournament games since Reggie Miller totaled 56 in consecutive games in March 1987 (32 versus Central Michigan, 24 versus Wyoming).
BRUINS EDGE SMU, 60-59
- Bryce Alford
scored a game-high 27 points to help UCLA defeat SMU, 60-59, on March 19 ... the Bruins led 44-34 with 12 minutes remaining when SMU used a 19-0 scoring run to surge ahead, 53-44 (at 4:34) ... Alford scored 12 points in the game’s final four minutes, knocking down four 3-pointers, to help UCLA mount a furious comeback.
- UCLA took the game’s final lead (60-59) with 13 seconds remaining, as a 3-point attempt by Bryce Alford
was called for goaltending ... the Bruins held tough in the final 10 seconds, as neither of SMU guard Nic Moore’s final two 3-point field goal attempts were successful ... UCLA led by a 34-30 margin against SMU at halftime.
- Norman Powell
scored 19 points against SMU (11 in the first half) ... Powell has scored in double figures in 30 of UCLA’s 35 games ... after Saturday’s win, Powell had pushed his career scoring total to 1,360 points (No. 29 all-time), just five points shy of Rod Foster’s 1,365-point total on the all-time list.
- UCLA earned its first win in the NCAA Tournament as a double-digit seed (No. 11) ... prior to this season, UCLA had gone 0-1 in the tournament when seeded in double-digits ... in 2005, No. 11-seed UCLA dropped a 78-66 decision to No. 6-seed Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament’s first round (game played in Tucson, Ariz.).
NEXT OPPONENT: GONZAGA
- For the second straight NCAA Tournament game, UCLA will face a non-conference opponent it played earlier this season ... Gonzaga upended UCLA, 87-74, on Dec. 13, 2014, marking UCLA’s only home loss this season ... ranked No. 9 in the nation at the time, Gonzaga received a game-high 24 points from junior forward Kyle Wiltjer.
- UCLA has posted a 1-2 all-time record against Gonzaga ... the Bruins’ lone victory came against the Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 on March 23, 2006 ... UCLA scored the game’s final 11 points and erased what had been a 17-point deficit in the first half ... Gonzaga won the first-ever meeting, a 59-43 decision, in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 11, 1999.
- Bryce Alford
’s nine 3-pointers against SMU (March 19) are the most by a UCLA player in the NCAA Tournament (previously, five players connected on five 3-pointers) ... between both games last week, Alford made 12 of 16 three-point shots (75.0 percent) ... he has shot 61.5 percent (16/26) from 3-point range in the last four games.
- Versus SMU, Alford shot 9 of 13 from the field, connecting on 9 of 11 three-pointers ... he tied the school record for most 3-pointers in a game (Jason Kapono shot 9 for 11 from 3-point range against Washington State on Jan. 4, 2003) ... Alford’s previous career high was six 3-pointers versus Nicholls State on Nov. 20, 2014.
- Bryce Alford
has broken UCLA’s single-season record for most 3-pointers (91) ... with his 9-for-11 performance from 3-point territory on March 19, Alford eclipsed previous record holders Arron Afflalo (87 in 2007) and Jason Kapono (82 in 2002) ... Alford’s total of 138 career 3-pointers ranks eighth on UCLA’s all-time list.
- Bryce Alford
has attempted 232 field goals from 3-point range this year, tied for the highest single-season total in school history (Arron Afflalo also had 232 attempts in 2007) ... Alford has shot 39.2 percent from long distance this season ... in fact, he has made 65.6 percent of his 3-point attempts in the last five games (21-for-32).
KEY PLAYER NOTES
- Freshman Kevon Looney
(11.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 15 double-doubles) entered the Sweet 16 ranking second among all freshmen in the nation with 9.2 rebounds per game ... his 15 double-doubles are tops in the country among freshmen ... a second-team All-Pac-12 selection, Looney was listed to this year’s Pac-12 All-Freshmen Team.
- Looney has averaged 9.2 rebounds per game, the second-best mark among freshmen in the nation (through March 22). Only Kevin Love has averaged more rebounds per game as a freshman at UCLA (10.6 rpg, 2007-08). Second to Love, Kyle Anderson
averaged 8.6 rebound per game as a frehsman in 2012-13.
- Sophomore Bryce Alford
(15.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.9 apg) secured honorable mention All-Pac-12 Team acclaim after having ranked seventh (tied) in the league in scoring and fourth in assists per game ... Alford and Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss were the Pac-12’s only players to rank in the top 10 in scoring and top five in assists per game.
- Senior guard Norman Powell
could become the first UCLA player to have competed in every game over his four-year career since Jason Kapono. Powell has played in all 140 games since the start of the 2011-12 season. Kapono played in all 127 games from 1999-00 through 2002-03.
- UCLA has had 10 games this season in which all five starters scored in double figures (including last Saturday’s win over UAB) ... Powell has scored in double figures in a team-leading 30 games (Alford in 29 games and Looney in 24 contests) ... Powell has led UCLA in scoring in 16 games, while Alford has been the team’s top scorer in 11 contests.
- Sophomore guard Isaac Hamilton
scored a team-best 36 points in UCLA’s 96-70 win over USC on March 12 in the Pac-12 Tournament ... Hamilton’s 36 points are the most by any UCLA player since Dijon Thompson dropped 39 points againts Arizona State on Feb. 10, 2005 (no UCLA player had scored 30 points this season).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
UCLA has played the country’s No. 23 most challenging schedule, as rated by KenPom.com. The Bruins have played seven games against top-15 ranked teams (AP poll), the most of any Pac-12 school. UCLA endured a five-game losing streak in late December and early January that featured four consecutive games away from home – vs. No. 1 Kentucky, at Alabama, at Colorado and at No. 10 Utah – after having hosted No. 9 Gonzaga in Pauley Pavilion.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
- Senior Norman Powell
has played in all 140 games for the Bruins since the start of the 2011-12 season (tied for No. 4 on UCLA’s all-time games played list) ... Powell has started each of the team’s last 74 games and has competed in 16 career postseason games (10 at the Pac-12 Tournament, six at the NCAA Tournament).
- Powell has moved into a fourth-place tie on the Bruins’ all-time games played list ... Michael Roll currently ranks first (147), followed by Darren Collison (142) and Alfred Aboya (142) ... Powell (140) is tied with Josh Shipp ... Powell, Aboya and Shipp are UCLA’s only players to have played at least 135 games and scored over 1,300 points.