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UCLA Vs Memphis

UCLA/Memphis Game Preview

#2 UCLA takes on #1 Memphis in the Oakland Region

MEMPHIS TIGERS: The Bradley Braves were on a roll and then they ran into number one seed Memphis. Memphis has been quietly playing excellent ball throughout the tournament and this game was no exception. When the Bradley Braves were on offense, Memphis made them work every inch of the court for every attempt at a point. Memphis shut down Bradley shooters (35% from the floor), while their players shot 51% from the court. The Tigers made it to the Elite Eight by easily beating their opponents 80-64. The Braves played tough and stayed close for most of the first half, tying the game 29-29. But Memphis has one of the most athletic teams in the tournament and a bench with a lot of depth. Although they’re a young team, they are also amazingly poised. The Tigers had 7 blocked shot and 10 steals and certainly seem ready to take on second seed UCLA.

(NEED TO: The Tigers shot well from the floor and played tenacious “D.” They spread the scoring around with a total of 10 players contributing points. If they play the same pressure game against UCLA they’ll beat them. Memphis only hit 66% from the free throw line and they gave their opponents nine more shots from the penalty stripe than they took; in a close game, those two factors could result in a loss for the Tigers. They need to take better advantage of free throws and foul less.)

UCLA BRUINS: UCLA trailed through much of the game and going into the stretch it seemed as though Gonzaga would be headed to the Elite Eight for the first time. But the Bruins, the second seed, found their shot and Gonzaga, the third seed, lost theirs. The result was an 11 to zip run to close out the game and an amazing 73-71 come-from-behind win. The Bruins will now play against the well honed, first seed Memphis Tigers. The equation is simple for ULCA—shoot better and foul less than they did in this game and take advantage of turnovers, which they also did against the Zags. One big difference maker for the Bruins was freshman forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. In the last few minutes of the game, he came through with rebounds, follow up shots, and heads-up plays. UCLA saw points from 10 players—that bodes well for this team. Why? When starters get into foul trouble or simply need a respite, the bench has to come through. For UCLA they did. This was not the case for the Bulldogs.

(NEED TO: Shoot better than 40% from the floor and don’t send Memphis to the foul line 26 times, which is how many chances the Zags had at the stripe. This is a character win for the Bruins and it could serve them well against Memphis. This team looked like it was down and out and did not give up. That builds confidence and determination. This is a deep team with a lot of talent. They now know they can beat a tough team in difficult circumstances. They must, however, not fall behind the Tigers like they did Gonzaga. It would be much tougher to mount a comeback against Memphis than it was the Zags.)

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