NCAA Preview: UCLA BruinsPosted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2009
UCLA (#6, East, Philadelphia pod)
vs. Virginia Commonwealth (#11)
Mar. 19 @ 9:50pm
Vegas Line: UCLA -7
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Conference: Pac 10
Coach: Ben Howland, 149-53
08-09 Record: 25-8 (13-5 in the Pac 10)
Last 12 Games: 8-4
Best Win: 85-76 vs. Washington, February 19
Worst Loss: 82-81 vs. Washington St., February 21
Off. Efficiency Rating: 121.2, 3rd
Def. Efficiency Rating: 92.5, 40th
Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Darren Collison, PG, senior- 14.8 points, 5.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 54% FG, 92% FT; Josh Shipp, SF, senior- 14.4 points, 1.3 steals, 51% FG, 44% 3PT
Unsung Hero: Alfred Aboya, C, senior- 10.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 58% FG
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Darren Collison, 1st round, 24th overall
Key Injuries: None
Depth: 31% (165th nationally); percentage of minutes played by payers coming off the bench
Achilles Heel: 250th out of 330 in field goal percentage defense
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Jrue Holiday steps up his game on both ends of the court and the perimeter defense improves, while the Bruins continue to shoot at the 50.6% that leads the nation.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The perimeter defense allows easy penetration so opponents shoot at a high percentage and Alfred Aboya gets in foul trouble early.
Last Year Invited: 2008, Final Four (Lost to Memphis)
Streak: 4 consecutive years
Best NCAA Finish: National champions 11 times, 1995 most recent
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.31. UCLA wins 0.31 more games on average each year than would be expected based on this historical performance of teams with a similar seed.
Six Degrees to Detroit: UCLA has played a team from the state of Michigan in every year since 2002.
Distance to First Round Site: 2,709 (Philadelphia, PA)
School’s Claim to Fame: UCLA has more applicants than any other school in the country and counts Jack Black, Francis Ford Coppola, James Dean, Will Forte, James Franco, Heather Locklear, Rob Reiner and Ben Stiller among its enterainment alumni.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Their loss to Princeton in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament as defending champions.
Prediction: Can the Bruins make it to a fourth consecutive Final Four if a couple higher seeds in their bracket are upset? Sure, but a Sweet 16 appearance sounds like a better guess, which isn’t too bad for a down year. Is it?