Tale of the tape
NCAA Tournament First Round: #6 UCLA Vs. #11 Minnesota
|Ben Howland has a distinguished career, highlighted by three trips to the Final Four, but his status is up in the air at UCLA, as athletic director Dan Guerrero has given him no public assurances.||Coaching||Tubby Smith had a national championship on his belt before being unceremoniously run out of town in Kentucky. This looked to be his most promising season with Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers have been sliding.|
|Once known for the Big East, ground-and-pound sort of attack, Howland switched things up and went more showtime. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams combined brilliantly for more than 30 points a game, but now that Adams has a broken foot, the attack is more limited.||Offense||The Golden Gophers thrive on bullying their way through a half-court game, which can be punishing for opponents but still a little feeble from an offensive standpoint. Minnesota ranked 149th in points per game.|
|Once a Howland staple, the Bruins have slipped some on defense since their deep tournament runs a few years ago. While it still hasn’t reached lockdown mode, UCLA’s team defense improved considerably after late February.||Defense||All year long, Minnesota has guarded the rim and the perimeter with sound rotations and efficiency. Opponents have managed just 61.7 points per game against the Gophers.|
|The loss of Adams really hurt UCLA’s depth chart, now that bench stalwart Norman Powell has to fill in with starter’s minutes. David Wear has been dependable for them in a sixth-man type role.||Bench Depth||Depth is clearly one of Minnesota’s strong suits. Lately, the Gophers have been running nine deep, getting significant contributions from Maverick Ahanmisi, Elliott Eliason, Joe Coleman and the other Hollins – Andre.|
We'll just call it a tie
More Tales of the tape
NCAA Championship Game: #1 Louisville Vs. #4 Michigan
Rick Pitino has been here before, after making his 7th Final Four appearance, he’s now in his third go-round in the title game. He’s got plenty of experience on the big stage and he has the Cardinals playing high level basketball at the right time.
NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend: #4 Michigan Vs. #4 Syracuse
No. 4 Michigan and No. 4 Syracuse square off in Atlanta this weekend with the winner getting a shot to play for the National Title.
NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend: #1 Louisville Vs. #9 Wichita State
Rick Pitino and No. 1 Louisville take on No. 9 Wichita State in Atlanta this weekend for a shot to play in the National Title game on Monday.