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UCLA basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball. What to expect from UCLA in the Elite Eight

UCLA basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball. What to expect from UCLA in the Elite Eight
ucla vs michigan, michigan vs ucla, Johnny Juzang

UCLA basketball 2021 Michigan Basketball. What to expect from UCLA in the Elite Eight

UCLA basketball UCLA basketball the expect UCLA What Eight Michigan Basketball: to in from Elite

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 20:00:00 -0700

Michigan Basketball will look to dominate inside and limit the UCLA Bruins outside shooting in hopes of advancing to the Final Four

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(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Michigan Basketball will square off with the UCLA Bruins in the Elite Eight rather than the expected Alabama Crimson Tide.  Alabama sputtered in their Sweet 16 matchup, eventually losing to the Bruins in overtime.

UCLA started their journey to the Elite Eight with a victory over the Michigan State Spartans in one of the two play-in games.  The 11th seeded Bruins have cruised to this point upsetting BYU, followed by blowing the socks off Abilene Christian Wildcats with a 20 point victory before disposing of Alabama.

The Bruins’ biggest surprise came over Alabama.  UCLA upset Alabama 88-78 overtime, but the Crimson Tide can’t point the finger at anyone but themselves for this loss.  Alabama shot just 25% from beyond the arc (7/28) and an atrocious 44% from the free-throw line (11/25).

On the other hand, UCLA shot 80% (20/25) from the charity stripe and just under 35% from three-point range (10/29).  When you dissect the rest of the numbers between the two, everything comes up nearly equal aside from Alabama turning the ball over 14 times and UCLA just eight.

When you look at the free-throw numbers, that ten-point spread doesn’t exactly look so impressive.  Taking all that into consideration, the Bruins still needed an extra period to get past the Tide.

The Bruins may not be the most talented group, but it is a team that just won’t give up.  UCLA likes to put the ball on the deck and attack the rim.

The Wolverines will need Hunter Dickinson, Brandon Johns Jr, and Franz Wagner to continue their recent all-around but primarily rebounding success to assure Michigan Basketball can again cruise to a victory that will launch the team into the Final Four.  The trio should have plenty of opportunities to dominate the game inside on both ends of the court against a smaller UCLA club.

Michigan will need to lock-down a trio of talented UCLA guards starting with Johnny Juzang accompanied by Jules Bernard and Tyger Campbell.  I suspect Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown will be up to the task.

The Bruins won’t beat Michigan inside, but if they get hot shooting the ball from the outside, things could get far more interesting than expected.  The Bruins will hope to spread the Wolverines out and attack the rim on an iso drive looking to finish or kick it out to an open outside shooter.

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UCLA is a hard-working group on the defensive end, holding their opponents to a combined 24% shooting from beyond the arc.  It’s almost amazing they are at this point, considering the Bruins nearly missed the tournament all together losing four consecutive games to end their regular season.

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UCLA basketball UCLA basketball

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 20:00:00 -0700

By Kenneth Cross

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UCLA coach Mick Cronin wasn't worried about his players scoring he knows that five average double figures

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This was all about if the Bruins 

In News, Pac-12, SEC by Ken CrossMarch 30, 2021, 6:05 pm

By Kenneth Cross

UCLA coach Mick Cronin wasn’t worried about his players scoring he knows that five average double figures.

This was all about if the Bruins could stop Alabama, whose three-point game was legendary all season.

In the end, UCLA gained it’s 88-78 overtime win and a berth in Tuesday night’s Elite Eight by holding the Tide to only 7-of-28 from behind the three-point line as Alabama came in averaging 10.1 per game and 35.5 percent on the season.

In addition, the Bruins once again took care of the ball with only eight turnovers while turning the Tide over 14 times and scoring 12 points off of those.

“I thought game plan wise – you can game plan to defend the three, but when that ball comes off the rim and it’s in the air and on the floor, you can’t let the other team want to win more than you,” said Cronin.

“And our guys did it.

We’re not the most athletic team without Chris Smith and Jalen Hill, so our guys just did a great job.”

Jamie Jacquez and Jules Bernard led the Bruins with 17 points apiece while David Singleton netted 15 off the bench.

Tyger Campbell and Johnny Juzang had 13 each as Campbell had five assists and Juzang pulled own eight rebounds.

Juzang fouled out with 2:26 left in regulation and Alabama nursing a 61-60 lead.

UCLA was momentarily stunned when the Crimson Tide’s Alex Reese hit a three to send – what seemingly was going to be a UCLA win in regulation – into overtime.

However once Cronin got the Bruins into the huddle, he reinvented their psyches and they David Singleton scored five of the first seven points as UCLA went up 72-65 with 2:51 to play.

“This was tough,” noted Cronin.

“When you’re in this situation, man, and that happens to you at the buzzer, you’ve got every reason to fold.

Every reason to fold – we were down 14 in West Lafayette (vs.

Michigan State), and it’s cold, we’re all from southern California.

Even me now, I hate the cold weather.

My blood is thin, buddy.

These guys just refused to give in.”

Cronin’s Bruins have caused chills with their icy defense and that happened to the Tide in overtime as Alabama was 2-of-9 from the field with a turnover over their first 10 possessions of the overtime.

“There’s many times we could have packed it in, but I told them, they’ve been putting up with me for two years now trying to beat into them competitive spirit and toughness because, when you combine that with talent, you have a chance to do great things,” said Cronin.

“They’ve allowed me to do it, and you’re seeing the results of it right now.

Then when they had to foul, the Bruins knocked down 9-of-10 over the last 38 seconds to end the Crimson Tide’s stellar season and send themselves into an Elite Eight showdown with Michigan.

“Our defense was kind of lacking in those four games that we lost, so when we got into March, we knew that was something we had to change,” said Jacquez.

“That’s what we’re doing right now, and that’s why we’re winning games.”

 

 

 

Ken Cross, the self-proclaimed “CEO of College Hoops,” has a plethora of experience over a 20-plus year period in both print and broadcast journalism as a free-lancer on the east coast and in the Charlotte, NC area, in particular.

He started with the now defunct Sports Fan Radio Network in 1997 as a reporter, giving in-game updates and then facilitating postgame interviews with players on winning teams after games via smart phones.

He has also worked in the same capacity for ESPN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, Fox Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio, Yahoo! Sports Radio over the same period.

In print and on the Internet, Cross continues to write for Lindy’s Sports Annuals as one of the primary writers for the College Basketball preview as well as a writer on the Lindy’s College Football preview staff.

He also contributes frequently to the Lindy’s Sports website with articles on all sports throughout the year in a feature, editorial, and game summary mode.

He also writes preview material for Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and covers Wake Forest basketball for Rivals.com.

Cross has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Appalachian State University and a Master’s in English and Education from Radford University in Virginia.

He is a member of the US Basketball Writers Association and the Football Writers Association of America.

Copyright 2017.

College Hoops Watch.

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– March 31, 2021
ucla vs michigan, michigan vs ucla, Johnny Juzang

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