Sunday, March 29, 2015

UCLA's NCAA Run Ends in Sweet 16 with 74-62 Loss to Gonzaga

Courtesy: Associated Press
Release: Friday 03/27/2015
Article Link
HOUSTON – Norman Powell and Tony Parker each scored 16 points as No. 11-seed UCLA dropped a 74-62 decision to No. 2-seed Gonzaga in a South Regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening at NRG Stadium.
Powell, who capped his collegiate career Friday having played in all 141 UCLA games the previous four seasons, made 8 of 19 shots from the field for UCLA (22-14).
Przemek Karnowski totaled 18 points and nine rebounds to pace the second-seeded Bulldogs (35-2), who advanced to face Duke (32-4) in the Regional Final on Sunday in Houston.
Parker finished with a double-double for the Bruins, logging 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
UCLA trailed throughout the game but was able to reduce Gonzaga’s 35-28 halftime cushion to one point – 35-34 – with just over 18 minutes to play in the second half.
From there, Gonzaga used a 12-0 run to claim a 47-34 cushion with 13:32 to play in the game. The Bruins never closed the gap to fewer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Gonzaga earned its second victory over the Bruins this season, having edged UCLA by an 87-74 tally in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 13.
UCLA finished with three players scoring in double figures in the rematch – Powell (16), Parker (16) and Isaac Hamilton (11).
The Bulldogs won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding UCLA by a 50-39 margin. Kyle Wiltjer totaled a team-high 10 rebounds for Gonzaga and also registered eight points.
Neither team had much success shooting from long-range at NRG Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans that will be used for the 2016 Final Four. UCLA made just 3 of 13 attempts from 3-point range while Gonzaga shot 3-for-19 from beyond the arc.
NOTES: UCLA concluded its season with at least 22 wins and a Sweet 16 appearance for the second consecutive season, having lost five of its eight rotation players last season to the NBA … in two seasons at UCLA, Bruins’ head coach Steve Alford has helped the program compile a 50-23 record, including a 32-3 mark in Pauley Pavilion … Norman Powell concluded his UCLA career with 1,376 career points (No. 28 on the all-time list) … Powell’s 141 career games at UCLA is the fourth-highest total in program history.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

TBT: Jeff Seigel post-UAB videos on IHam, Bryce and Norman

Pat Forde on The Alfords

Thanks to CaptainBruin for posting this on BZ!

UCLA Basketball Looks Ahead to Sweet 16 Matchup Versus Gonzaga

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Monday 03/23/2015
Article Link
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)
Television: CBS
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).
- 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).
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).
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.).
- 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).
- 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).
UCLA has played the country’s No. 23 most challenging schedule, as rated by 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.
- 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.

OC Register on Tony P and Kevon prior to meeting with the Zags tomorrow

LA Times on IHam before UCLA tangles with Gonzaga tomorrow in the Sweet 16

LA Daily News on Zags game tomorrow

TBT: Jack Wang, Inside UCLA videos post-UAB win: Kevon, IHam, Norman and Tony P.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Congratulations, Coach Ben!!!

Thanks to HowlandWood for posting this on BZ. More cowbell! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

NY Times on the Alfords

Thanks to bluebellknoll for posting this article on BZ

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ESPN reviews UCLA's sojourn to the SWEET 16.

ESPN on UAB win in Round 3 of MM

Hot off the shirt press!!!

UCLA Basketball Downs UAB, 92-75, to Reach NCAA Sweet 16

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Release: Saturday 03/21/2015
Article Link
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A week after anxiously waiting for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, UCLA has done its best to help quiet the doubters.
The Bruins (22-13) were the first team to advance to a regional semifinal, marking the program's five trip to the Sweet 16 in the last 10 seasons.
Tony Parker led five Bruins in double figures with a career-high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 11-seed UCLA beat No. 14-seed UAB 92-75 on Saturday to advance to its second straight Sweet 16.
"The selection committee thought we were good enough to play in this tournament, and I think we proved it," Parker said.
UCLA has won two straight in Louisville - and six of their last seven - to earn their first consecutive Sweet 16 berths since reaching the Final Four three straight seasons between 2006 and 2008. They will play either Gonzaga or Iowa on Friday in the South Regional semifinal in Houston.
''There's no better time to do that than March,'' UCLA coach Steve Alford said.
UCLA improved No. 11 seeds to a perfect 5-0 against 14 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, and the Bruins didn't need any questionable calls to win the program's second game as a double-digit seed.
This time, they just dominated inside and shot the ball as well as they have all season. Kevon Looney had 10 points and 11 rebounds for UCLA. Bryce Alford had 22 points, Norman Powell 15 and Isaac Hamilton 13.
The Bruins' opening win over SMU was sealed when a 3-point attempt by Alford was ruled good on a goaltending call.
With the Blazers worried first about Alford who hit 9 of 11 from 3 to beat SMU in the last game, Parker had room to roam helping UCLA outrebound UAB 41-26 with a 52-22 scoring edge in the paint.
''All of those were baskets right around the rim and positions where our length was not going to be able to bother him because, if he's within 2 feet, he's going to be awfully effective,'' UAB coach Jerod Haase said.
The Blazers (20-16) missed out on their first regional semifinal since 2004 coming off their big upset of No. 3 seed Iowa State on Thursday. Robert Brown led the Blazers with 25 points and William Lee added 10.
Still, it was a big turnaround for a program that was Division I's third-youngest program at the start of the season and 4-9 when Conference USA play began.
''We came a long way,'' UAB guard Denzell Watts said. ''It's a good feeling, but we came up short.''
These teams came out shooting, and the Blazers didn't back off looking for a second straight upset. They shot 50 percent in the first half and hit six of 10 3-pointers and grabbed their biggest lead at 21-15 on a 3-pointer by Lee. Then the Bruins showed just how well a team can knock down shots, reeling off a 13-2 run to take back the lead.
At one point, UCLA connected on eight straight shots helped by Parker dunking and scoring in close. They took a 46-37 lead after Alford finally hit his first 3 with 17 seconds left. The Bruins came out of the locker room scoring eight of the first 11 points, and Looney scored six straight with his last basket giving UCLA a 54-40 lead not even 3 minutes into the half.
The Blazers kept shooting from outside the arc, and consecutive 3s from Watts and Tyler Madison got them within 64-58 just before the midpoint of the half. Isaac Hamilton scored six straight for UCLA, the last a layup off a steal by Alford pushing the lead back to double digits. That was as close as the Blazers would get again.
UAB: The Blazers couldn't match the rebounding edge they had against Iowa State with Madison and Tosin Mehinti limited to a combined 13 points in the first half because of foul trouble. They managed only nine rebounds in the first half. ... Their last Sweet 16 berth came in 2004 when the Blazers beat Washington, then No. 1 seed Kentucky to advance.
UCLA: Parker turned in the most points by a Bruin in the tournament since Kevin Love had 29 against Western Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on March 27, 2008, a game after Alford had 27. ... The Bruins have shot 50 percent or better in nine games this season. They shot 60.3 percent (35 of 58).

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