By Jeff Fett, GopherSports.com
Friday, March 22, in Austin, Texas the Gophers will begin their quest to make it to their second Final Four in school history in a second round matchup against No. 6 seed UCLA in the South Regional. Here is a preview of what the Bruins have accomplished so far this season.
NCAA Tournament Preview: UCLA
Head Coach: Ben Howland
Overall Record: 25-9
Pac-12 Conference Record: 13-5
Leading Scorers: Shabazz Muhammad-17.8 ppg; Jordan Adams-15.3 ppg; Travis Wear-11.2 ppg;
Kyle Anderson-9.8 ppg; Larry Drew II-7.6 ppg.
Top 5 Leading Rebounders: Kyle Anderson-8.6 rpg;
Shabazz Muhammad-5.3 rpg; Travis Wear-5.2 rpg; David Wear-5.0 rpg; Joshua
Austin Hollins and the Gophers are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010.
Notable wins: Georgia, Texas, Missouri,
Long Beach State, California, Arizona, Stanford, Colorado
Notable losses: Georgetown, Cal Poly, San
Diego State, Oregon, Washington State
Gophers second round matchup against UCLA is a tough one to predict. UCLA won
the regular season Pac-12 title this season, but also went through some rough
stretches as well.
Bruins are led by freshman guard/forward combo Shabazz Muhammad, who leads the
team in scoring and is likely to be a top 10 pick in the NBA draft this season
should he choose to exit early.
can get up and down the court, averaging 74.7 points per game, which is 28th
in the nation. The team also is averaging 16.1 assists per game, which is 11th
in the country. However, the Bruins also give up a lot of points as well. In
the Bruins' 34 games, they have given up at least 60 points or more 26 times.
before the NCAA tournament, UCLA suffered a big hit. The Bruins will be without
freshman guard Jordan Adams after he broke his foot in their Pac-12 Conference
tournament semifinal victory over Arizona on Friday. Adams is the team's second
scorer and led the Pac-12 in steals with 73 this season. Sophomore Norman
Powell will take his place in the starting lineup.
could work in the Gophers favor is UCLA's depth. With the loss of Adams, the
Bruins will likely stick to a seven-man rotation. If the Gophers can make this
game into a track meet, there is a good chance they could move on.