Friday, March 24, 2006

UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71

I'm not sure I've ever seen a team play so badly against a good opponent and still win a game. The Bruins didn't score a field goal until nearly 9 minutes into the game, they were down by 17 at halftime, and every time they made a run, Gonzaga would hit a shot or two to keep the Bruins down by double-digits.

Then, out of nowhere, UCLA scored the last 11 points of the game to win by 2.

Farmar's steal is memorable. Game winning shots are exciting...but they've also been done. A lot. You don't get a lot of "down by 1, steal the ball, pass for an easy layup" game winners." Usually this is the point where you start fouling then get the ball back to set up for a game winning shot. The Bruins didn't foul--they did what they always do. They D'd up, baby! Gonzaga had numerous opportunities in the last three minutes to make one shot, a single shot, and basically bury UCLA. They didn't do it. Maybe they couldn't do it. Because these Bruins know how to play some defense.

Stealing to win is so unexpected. When waiting for a game winning shot, you know what you're about to see--either you're going to make it and win or miss it or lose. To steal the ball to score and win is unexpected, and when it happens, it lingers in memory (think Bird to DJ).

By the way, I hate CBS's coverage of the NCAA tourney. When I watch a basketball game, I don't want to watch parts--I want to watch from beginning to end to get a sense for the game. CBS takes you away from games you're watching when they think another game is more interesting. It sucks. Of course, I was hating watching the game, and the four minutes or so I missed accounted for almost no change in the game.

Next up: Memphis. An excellent game of contrasts.


  1. I actually was glad that CBS switched over to the end of the Texas-WVU game. That was just as an exciting ending as fUCLA-Zags. Seeing exciting finishes to basketball games is what the tourney is all about.

  2. Anonymous9:03 AM

    I got to watch both games in their entirety. Thanks to digital receivers and the free over the air HD signal I had two channels showing the games so I got to choose which one I watched. So nice. I was rooting for UCLA, just severely disappointed that Duke lost, but hey LSU played a better game.

  3. Memphis is about to fold. Imagine going to sweet 16 by beating Oral Roberts, Bucknell, and Bradley. Guessing UCLA will bounce back strong from poor play and overwhelm a team that has played small time teams.

    Still betting on UConn or Nova, though. Big East ball is just a better prep than those other conferences.

  4. Anonymous10:30 AM

    I disagree with the Grumbler. Not saying that UCLA wont win, but Memphis is a athletic running team that could cause UCLA some problems in terms of tempo of the game. I will however be rooting for my friends team in UCLA.

  5. Did anyone get the watch the game earlier this season when the Tigers beat the Bruins? I know Memphis won, but I'd curious about what the game actually looked like and if either of the teams have improved over the course of the season.