The UCLA Basketball Weekend
I really did think the Arizona State Sun Devils would give the UCLA Bruins more trouble than the Arizona Wildcats. It looks like neither of those squads did much of anything against the Bruins.
The Bruins are making a case for themselves nabbing a coveted #1 seed in March Madness by spanking the Sun Devils by 33 points and the Wildcats by 22.
What’s really remarkable to witness is how up-tempo the Bruins are compared to the last several years. The half court use-up-the-shot-clock mentality that took the Bruins to back-to-back Final Fours is now scrapped by a scoring attack that UCLA hasn’t had since they last won the NCAA Championship in 1995. They shot an amazing 57% from the field. Kevin Love had yet another double-double, and sophomore guard Russell Westbrook scored a career high 21 points.
Don’t get me wrong, the defense is still there. Particularly in Thursday night’s game the Bruins clogged up the passing lanes and made the Wildcats make uncomfortable shots all night long. The Wildcats, shooting 48% from the field this season, only shot 38%.
Now for the bad news. In last night’s game, the Bruins lost forward Luc Richard Mbah-a-Moute with a sprained left ankle. He is questionable for Thursday’s game at Washington State. Thankfully, the Bruins have really good depth on the bench so Mbah-a-Moute’s absence shouldn’t be too detrimental.
If the Bruins keep on playing with this fury, it will be hard to see any team defeating them. I smell another Final Four appearance on the horizon. But first things first. They have a tough challenge Thursday night at Washington State. More on that later. But it’s time for some Korean dumplings and Super Bowl goodness!
AP Photo by Kevork Djansezian