NCAA Basketball South Region: #6 UCLA Bruins vs #11 Minnesota Golden Gophers
2013 NCAA Tournament – South Region Second Round
Friday, March 22, 2013, 9:55 pm Eastern, TV: tru TV
#6 UCLA Bruins vs #11 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Frank Erwin Special Events Center – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Minnesota -2 1/2
Current Line: Minnesota -3 1/2
Opening Total: 135 1/2
Current Total: 135 1/2
Opening Money Line: Minnesota -140 / UCLA +120
Current Money Line: Minnesota -170 / UCLA +150
The 25-9 UCLA Bruins won the Pac 12 outright with a 13-5 record. However, their hopes for a deep run in the NCAA tournament took a serious hit when guard Jordan Adams broke his foot in the Bruins’ win over Arizona in the Pac 12 semifinals last week. The Bruins lost to Oregon 78-69 in the Pac 12 championship. UCLA was given a #6 seed in the south region.
UCLA will take on #11 Minnesota in the second round Saturday. The winner will face either #3 Florida or #14 Northwestern St Sunday in the third round. The Golden Gophers are 20-12 this season and were 8-10 in the Big Ten. Minnesota tied for 7th with Illinois and Purdue. The Golden Gophers lost to Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten tournament 51-49. Minnesota has lost 3 straight games.
UCLA leads the series 5-1 against Minnesota. The Golden Gophers won the last meeting in 1997 in the Elite 8 to go to the Final Four. The other match-ups in the series happened when John Wooden was still the UCLA coach.
UCLA is coached by Ben Howland. The Bruins have losses to Georgetown in Brooklyn, at home against Cal Poly and Oregon, to San Diego St in Anaheim, at Arizona St, Cal, Washington St and at home to USC in overtime. The Bruins have key wins over Indiana St, UC-Irvine, James Madison, Georgia in Brooklyn, Texas in Houston, Long Beach St, Fresno St, Missouri, Cal, Stanford twice, Oregon St, Washington St, and Washington and at Utah, Colorado and Arizona St, at USC, Arizona St, and at Washington. The Bruins have won 7 of their last 9 games UCLA is 15-18 ATS and the total is 12-15 this season.
UCLA is outscoring teams 75-69 this season. The Bruins are #26 in scoring. UCLA is shooting 45.7% from the field and shoot 34% from 3 point range. UCLA makes 72.4% of their free throws. The Bruins average 36.7 rebounds and give up 35.2 per game. Bruin opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 31.2% from 3 point range. UCLA averages 17 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.
Guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad averages 18.2 points, and 5.2 rebounds a game. The freshman missed the first 3 games of the season due to being ineligible, but has been sensational since then. He will likely be an NBA lottery pick in June’s draft. Adams averaged 15 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Forward Travis Wear averages 11.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1 block per game. Guard Kyle Anderson averages 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals. Guard Larry Drew II averages 7.7 points, 7.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Forward David Wear averages 7.1 points, and 5.1 rebounds per game. Guard Norman Powell averages 5.9 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Little used guard David Brown is questionable with an ankle injury. Guard Nick Kazemi hasn’t played yet this season, and is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
Minnesota is coached by Tubby Smith. The Gophers started off the season 15-1 but have gone 5-11 since then. The Gophers have losses to Duke in a tournament in the Bahamas, road losses at Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan St, Iowa, Nebraska, and Purdue and home losses to Michigan and Illinois. Minnesota has key wins over Toledo, Richmond, Memphis & Stanford in the Bahamas, at Florida St, at USC, Michigan St, Northwestern, at Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin, Indiana and Penn St. The Gophers are 15-14-1 ATS and the total is 10-15.
Minnesota is outscoring teams 68-62 this season. The Gophers are shooting 44.2% from the field and 32.6% from 3 point range. Minnesota makes 68.5% from the free throw line. Minnesota averages 38.8 rebounds per game and gives up 25.8 per game. The Gophers are #18 in rebounding, and #5 in rebounds allowed. Minnesota opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. The Gophers average 15 assists, 8 steals, 6 blocks, and 14 assists.
Guard Andre Hollins averages 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Austin Hollins averages 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 steals. Forward Rodney Williams averages 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game.Trevor Mbakwe averages 10 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.5 blocks per game. Guard Joe Coleman averages 8.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Wally Ellenson is probable with the flu.
Minnesota is 4-0 ATS after scoring less than 50 points, 5-1 in Friday games, 1-4-1 after a straight up loss, 1-4-1 in neutral site games, 2-8-1 overall, 1-5-1 after failing to cover, and 1-6-1 against teams with winning records.
UCLA is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 2-5 in Friday games, 7-20 in neutral site games, 1-4 in NCAA tournament games, and in non-conference games.
I know UCLA doesn’t have Adams, but they still shouldn’t be an underdog to a mediocre at best Minnesota team that has lost 3 straight. Yes, Minnesota upset Indiana at home a few weeks ago, but still Minnesota has struggled down the stretch with losses to bad Nebraska and Purdue teams. I like UCLA to find a way to win this game.