UCLA – Going All the Way?

Is this the year that the number two nationally ranked UCLA Bruins (15- 2 Pac-10, 26- 3 overall) go all the way? The Bruins have faced 9 nationally ranked opponents and beaten all but one. They lost to the #17 Oregon Ducks 68- 66 on January 4, 2007. That was their first loss of the season with the other two coming to Stanford (75- 68) and West Virginia (70- 65). All three loses were on the road and with only one away game left, against the Washington Huskies, their perfect home record will stay intact.The Bruins possess three strong guards. Junior Arron Affalo (17.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.0 APG) is a tough shooting guard. Darren Collison (12.6 PPG, 6.0 APG) is a great two-way player. Along with being a play maker, he’s got a 48% three-pointer and has 2.3 steals per game.

At power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute offers good inside play with 7.8 RPG and 8.7 PPG. Center Lorenzo Mata has 6.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG, while hitting 66% of shots. His 1.2 blocks per game leads the Bruins.

Off the bench freshman guard Russell Westbrook has given some solid production, which includes 3.6 PPG while averaging 9.8 MPG. Also off the bench, sophomore Michael Roll at guard/forward has averaged 5.4 PPG with 17.1 MPG. Sophomore swingman Alfred Aboya has also contributed with 4.3 PPG whole averaging 17.3 MPG. He’s a 52% field goal shooter.

UCLA, the Pac-10’s regular season top team, has easily beaten the Pac-10’s second place finisher the Washington State Cougars (12-5 Pac-10, 23- 6 overall) 53- 45. It’s the second straight conference title for UCLA and the 25th overall.

The Bruins play smart basketball and are mature with some fine vets. They’ve played consistently all season. They are smart and tough and look like the same team that went all the way to the championship game last year, only to lose to the Florida Gators. This could be the year that UCLA finally wins its 12th NCAA title.

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