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UCLA Head of the Pac (Hardee Har Har)
The UCLA Bruins were gifted their third consecutive Pac-10 title by the referees in their game against the #7 Stanford Cardinal.
With less than two seconds to go at the end of regulation Darren Collison drove to the basket and pulled up for a five-footer. Lawrence Hill went up and blocked the shot. Replays clearly showed that Hill got all ball and absolutely no body contact. So of course Hill got called for the foul.
Collison went on to sink both free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime.
But the game was ugly for the Bruins.
The Bruins jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening moments of the game against the Cardinal. After that it was all Stanford The Bruins were flat-footed offensively with the twin towers of Brooks and Robin Lopez helping to affect almost every shot the Bruins took. The Bruins were down by as much as 14 points in the first half unable to do anything offensively including hitting free throws.
In the second half, the Bruins would go on a good offensive run only to have Stanford answer back. That is until the final minutes of the second half where the Bruins turned on the defense and got stops which allowed Darren Collison to take control of the game.
Even though the Bruins won the game 77-67, their first lead since the opening minute was with 2:46 left in overtime at 65-63. Like I said, they stole this win.
So this makes Ben Howland the first UCLA coach to win three consecutive Pac-10 titles since John Wooden. This also gives the Bruins an easy road to a coveted #1 seed in the tournament. They close the season Saturday afternoon at home against the Cal Golden Bears.
For those of you keeping score, UCSB (22-7, 11-4) is currently in a three-way tie with Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge atop the Big West standings. The Gauchos close out the season Saturday night at 6-23 Long Beach State. They look headed to the tournament for the first time since 2002 where they almost upset #3 seed Arizona Wildcats in the opening round.
AP Photo by Kevork Djansezian