After the Buzzer: UCLA Escapes

Posted by rtmsf on November 13th, 2008


Game of the Night.  UCLA 64, Miami (OH) 59.  Considering there was only one game of consequence tonight (no, Weber St. over Prairie View 78-68 doesn’t count), the GOTN was the second-round battle of UCLA and Miami (OH) in Westwood.  We just knew this would be a good game, and although once again, we couldn’t see the damn thing, all indications are that Charlie Coles’ Redhawks gave the Mighty Bruins everything they wanted.  Just how close was this game?  The largest lead by either team was 5 pts either way, and the majority of the game was played within one possession.  Whereas last night UCLA was led by its Fab Five freshmen, tonight the Bruins looked to their upperclassmen to secure the victory.  The rooks produced only 10 pts and 5 rebounds, while seniors Darren Collison and Josh Shipp accounted for 32 of the remaining 54 pts (including the last two pairs of FTs to seal the game in the last twenty seconds).  This will be a recurring theme for UCLA this year – when the young’uns produce, UCLA will be able to play with anyone in America; when they don’t, things will get dicey for Ben Howland’s club.  As for Miami (OH), they were led by Michael Bramos’ 22/4, but they were never able to create enough separation from UCLA to truly put the pressure on the Bruins.  We would have loved to have seen this game (leave comments below if you were lucky enough to do so), but we suppose this is a standard-issue Miami team, and they’ll have more than a few more opportunities to frustrate the hell outta some major conference squads in the next two months (@ Pitt, @ Xavier, @ Temple, @ WVU). 

CvC Semifinals.  The Gazelle Group got the F4 it wanted with the host school ‘top seed’ from each regional advancing to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals on Nov. 20.  UCLA will play resurgent Michigan, while Duke will play S. Illinois.  Clearly the tourney was set up to get the top five matchup between Duke and UCLA, but we’re not so sure about that.  By our calculations, UCLA, for instance, is only 1-2 in the eastern time zone on the eastern seaboard during the Howland era, and the single win was a one-point victory at Drexel a couple of years ago.  UCLA just doesn’t seem to travel east very well, and given their struggles tonight against a game Miami (OH) team at home, Michigan might be poised to spring the upset.  The UM Hoops blog encourages us to dampen the hype a little, and we get that sentiment given the Wolverines’ recent history, but with UCLA’s seemingly constant offensive struggles, Michigan could ride Manny Harris to a big upset next week.  In the other half of the bracket, we don’t expect Duke to have much trouble with S. Illinois simply because those are the types of teams that Duke feeds off of.  SIU just doesn’t have the athleticism that is required to close out on Duke’s shooters and finish plays over its defense.  Oh well – that’s why they play the games.  We’ll talk more about this next week.

On Tap Friday (all times EST) – must-see games in red:

  • Florida (-23) v. Toledo (ESPNU) – 6pm
  • Kentucky v. VMI (ESPN FC) – 7pm
  • Stanford (-12.5) @ Yale – 7pm
  • Connecticut (-26.5) v. W. Carolina (ESPN360) – 7:30pm
  • Pittsburgh v. Fairleigh Dickinson – 8pm
  • Maryland v. Bucknell – 8pm
  • Kansas St. v. Florida A&M  (ESPN FC) – 8pm
  • Villanova v. Albany – 8pm
  • Texas v. Stetson (ESPN FC) – 8pm
  • Oklahoma St. v. UT-San Antonio (ESPN FC) – 8pm
  • Oklahoma v. American  (ESPN FC) – 8pm
  • Purdue (-23) v. Detroit (ESPN360) – 9pm
  • Clemson (-18) v. Hofstra  (CSS) – 9pm
  • Texas Tech v. St. Francis (PA) (ESPN FC) – 9pm
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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11 responses to “After the Buzzer: UCLA Escapes”

  1. David says:

    I knew this would be a close game. Miami did exactly what they wanted to do; make the Bruins feel uncomfortable on offense.

    There were some shoddy calls, very homerish, but Miami couldn’t produce enough on the UCLA D to pull out the game.

  2. wildjays says:

    I don’t know, just when I watched the game, the UCLA players looked really tired like they weren’t ready to play 2 nights in a row and probably worked it too hard in the blowout the night before to not leave much in the tank for this game. That is probably a “something learned” thing by the news guys that will be pointed out.

  3. Mike says:

    I think someone should be embarassed about refereeing at each of the CvC sites, sans So. Illinois. I watched all of these games and, frankly, 2K Sports might as well go the way of the Gazelle Group and put the big-name teams in the finals regardless. I can’t get over how often hand-checks were called on Miami, Northeastern, etc., while the major programs rarely got called for any contact … Steven Bardo almost lost it last night while doing color for ESPNU. It has been a shame.

  4. tyus says:

    Isn’t Ann Arbor in the Eastern Time Zone?
    Somehow the bruins survived the airplane food and won there in 2006 and 2008. But they did lose in East Lansing in 2005. Must have had the chicken.

  5. rtmsf says:

    @ Mike – we really wish we could have seen those games, but it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if GG was pressuring refs to get certain teams to advance. After all, they’re not above simply fixing the semifinal round regardless of who wins or loses in some of their other tournaments.

    @ Tyus – good catch. We meant (and should have said) eastern seaboard. Corrected.

  6. how could you forget about tonights Brown-URI game?

  7. rtmsf says:

    It wasn’t forgotten. It just wasn’t important. LOL. Sorry, we’re just kidding. Seriously, if Brown pulls the upset, we’ll have something to say about it tomorrow.

  8. Don’t apologize, you’re right, not even RI’ers care about this game, only the PC-URI game.

  9. Mitch says:

    I saw the UCLA – Miami(OH) game. I don’t think UCLA played badly, Miami is just a solid team. Bramos is a player. As long as he’s playing at the level he played last night, Miami is capable of beating anyone. There were a few shady calls, but all in all, I thought the game was officiated pretty well. The key to the game is that for every big play that Miami made, Collison or Shipp were able to respond. Despite the victory however, UCLA fans may want to temper their expectations about the teams chances of making a fourth Final Four. This team should still win the Pac-10 but not as easily as I thought they would.

  10. David says:

    This is the kind of game that will help the UCLA freshmen. Playing a disciplined, well-coached team like Miami in your second game as a college basketball player will help you grow faster.

    And UCLA needs that to happen if they want to reach the Final Four once again.

    And I agree with Mitch, both teams played well. They are both defensive-oriented teams that don’t win pretty. Each team did what they wanted to do, and UCLA pulled it out.

  11. Patrick Marshall says:

    I found out that the Texas-Stetson game has been removed from Full Court tonight and replaced with a Women’s game instead. Don’t quite understand that.

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